Thursday, 28 March 2013

Turning the air blue

Those of you of a sensitive nature were lucky not to be around me this afternoon. I turned into a grumpy sweary she-monster. My potty mouth and general temperament was off the scale ugly. Positively medieval. You may be wonder what on earth had turned me from my usual mild mannered self into such a nightmare. If you're not that interested well you may want to skip this post altogether.

The story should actually start last Thursday when myself and two friends got together for a meal out. One of my friends Beqi was wearing the first scarf I've ever knitted that actually looked like a scarf and not some freak accident in a yarn factory. (Which is what all my child hood attempts at trying to knit ended up like.)


I do not find knitting an easy skill. I can't normally cast on and it's only through knitting these type of scarves I've learnt how to cast off. Anyway, Beqi was telling us how she'd had lots of admiring looks and comments in the scarf. I told my Mum and she said something about how I'd given lots of scarves away as presents (Only one knitted!) but never given her one. So I went online and bought some yarn in colours she'd like with the idea I'd make her a loopy scarf.  I had only knitted a couple of these before and try as I might I could not find that brand in suitable colours so I opted for a different brand and today the wool arrived. I thought I'd spend a couple of hours in my usual spot on the sofa knitting. Each scarf only takes one ball of wool and is easier enough for a rubbish knitter like me to manage. I'm spending a lot of time on the sofa these days rather than doing other stuff. The idea of being able to do something (other than play games on facebook) while on the sofa meant a win win all round.

Until that was I started to knit the scarf. All thread is not equal. I should know that from sewing I guess. I don't know whether I got a duffy ball, whether it was the change in brand or something else. But knitting with this was a nightmare. For those of you that have never knitted with this kind of yarn. It's actually a mesh that's wound into a ball in ribbons that you pull apart to access the mesh. Using the top thin end you knit through this and it creates ruffles with the pulled apart mesh sections. (Clear as mud right?!) Only not long after I'd started knitting the thread started to twist and turn. I kept unwinding it but as fast I did so it coiled back up making it almost impossible to open up a section of the mesh to knit through.

See that all twisted up - that's how it got really ugly.

I had to get Mum involved with some untwisting. (Due to not having arms like an octopus.) We were both fed up with the whole process. A scarf in a few hours doubled and then some.  When I found a knot in the ball of yarn where two sections had been joined together. I undid the knot and that did help with the uncoiling. By the time I'd got to that end we decided the scarf was more than long enough for my Mum. So I called it a day there and stopped swearing.

365-87 28 March 2013
The light is not great but you get an idea of Mum's scarf. 

But at least I made something right?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Food Glorious Food!

I am not liking this continued winter weather. Even though many of you are finding the excuse to stay indoors conducive to sewing. I'm finding it's just motivating me to snuggle up on the sofa and mess about on the laptop or sleep. That said I had two social events last week. The first was getting together with a couple of friends for a meal at The White Hart, Beaconsfield.  I had taken my camera with me so I could take a picture for my Project365 - Picture of the Day project. It ended up being of my friend Becky messing about with the dessert menu.

Fun with Beqi

It was also the first time in 2013 a picture of me had been taken with my face in it. My 2013 year book is very short on pages this year so far. I'd assumed there would be celebratory pictures for my birthday and Mum's 80th not to mention Mother's Day. But alas not. 

In case you wondered I'd opted for the peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.
 I couldn't manage it all!

The day after Chief came down.  He had bought some German food for me to try. (He developed a taste for this when he lived in Germany for some years.) Which he cooked and smothered in German Curry Sauce for my lunch. He gets this from his 'Sauce Doris' (Yes, best not ask. But that's where he was off when he drove past yours Di!).  I am famed for not liking Curry of any persuasion.  I wasn't expecting to like it. Chief was not expecting me to like it. Or that I'd like it so much he'd be obliged to leave one of his precious bottles behind in my fridge.  But he did.  I was too busy wolfing down my curry wurst and frikadelle to get a picture. But later when he cooked me the fillet steak I'd picked up as a treat earlier I did get a picture of it cooking. 

Fillet Steak

But alas not a pic of it on the plate with potato wedges, tomato, mushrooms and onions.  It was delicious. He'll be cooking all my steaks from now on.  Then after an individual Waitrose chocolate tarts we headed off to the village trivia quiz. The quiz was fun but hard. We came 5th although just prior to the ploughmans meal break (yes, I had a lot of food on Friday!) we were second.  Chief had work the next day so had to leave to go home straight after the quiz. I went straight to bed and kept him company on the journey all the way home. It was a pretty unpleasant journey thanks to snow and blizzard conditions. He got home just before 1 am so I've been a bit like a zombie all weekend. Thank heavens I had plenty of food to fortify me eh?!

Friday, 15 March 2013

It's been just over a year...

...since I became a Parish Councillor. I don't know where that year has gone to. If you read this post you'll know I went along to a meeting to see what it was all about with a view to joining and within minutes of the meeting I'd been co-opted.  I had no idea the range of activities I'd get involved with through being a Parish Councillor: Planting bulbs on the verges to extend the spring like show of daffodils around the village; litter picking; attending meetings at other groups like The Village Hall and the local university.  Then tonight making a cake for an open archive event at the local school tomorrow.

One cake will be sliced up and put in our freezer for Chief.

The parish council heard about the archive project.  It encompasses artefacts found around the local school campus and the history of site. The site used to be the village estate. As such all the old houses, including mine were once owned by the estate and families had rented them whilst undertaking work on the estate. When the estate was broken up the houses were sold and the families living in them had first refusal to purchase.  

It's also how come my old school has a moat. The island is to the right.  

The Moat

And explains why I had English in a converted Stable block...

The Stable block at Wheatley Park School, Holton

...French, RE and Music in a grand old house with pretentions to be castle

Holton Park House

It may feel a little strange to be going back to school tomorrow. The part of the building I'm going to used to be the Sixth Form Centre and I've not been back to that part since my own sixth form days. 

Oh and before you think this is some posh private school. It's actually the local comprehensive school.  

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Good Mail Days

When you stop buying fabric online (or whatever else you're into) the opportunities for good-mail-days go down considerably. I hadn't realised how few good-mail-days I'd had until I had some lovely mail on Saturday and again today.

This month is my month as Queen Bee in Bee a Brit Stingy. I was horribly behind in this Bee, which started in January and did give my fellow Bee's the chance to opt out of making for me. It felt a bit cheeky expecting other people to get stitching when I hadn't done any myself. My fellow Bee's said they were going to be making for me so could I choose my block. The block I went for was The Road to Tennese block. I referred everyone to this great tutorial that Sarah wrote for Bee Blessed. I requested the small background bits be white - whether that was plain white, white on white or low volume pattern with a heavily white design. Then I asked for the main prints to be bright and colourful and remind everyone of summer. We started getting snow in the UK in October and whilst down here the snow has not been continuous I do feel a six month spread of winter excessive. I need some summer, even if it is just in a quilt!

On Saturday I received blocks from Di and today from Nicky. I have them laid out on the living room floor at the moment, where I can just stare at them and reflect on how lucky I am to know such lovely people. It's going to be a beautiful quilt and I want to have it finished to take with me to the FQ retreat.

365-70 11 March 2013

Saturday, 9 March 2013


Wow! I've actually sewed two days running! This means that I'm up to date on my Bee commitments. (I'm not counting that I've not done March blocks because we're still in March!)

Today's sewing was for Ms February - aka Emily. Emily requested the ever popular +&x blocks. The hardest bit of doing this block was deciding on the fabrics. There was some major procrastination going on.  I hope Emily likes what I decided on because they're all packaged up ready to go.

365-68 9 March 2013

After asking my fellow Stingy Bees to make me a block with part of it white background I've discovered that since making the feather for Lucy I have no white fabric, so can't do my own blocks until I go shopping. Before you think that's the most feeble excuse for wanting to fabric shop, I'll have you know that I've been sticking to my self imposed fabric diet like a good-un.  In four months I think I've only bought fabric twice. Even then it was not a lot of fabric either. 

This morning, so I could clear my day for stuff like sewing, I ventured to the supermarket early. As I pulled up next to the river I spotted a Kingfisher sat on a low willow branch. Now that has to be a good start to a weekend?  I hope you are all having good weekends too!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bee-ing Good

Thank you to all of you that have messaged me to see if I'm ok. It has been rather quiet around here of late. There has been more illness and not just me this time. My Mum went down with a lurgy just before her 80th birthday meaning she missed out on celebrating. Although when everyone is better we will be celebrating.  Unfortunately whilst I am back to my usual-of-late-crappy-feeling, which is getting me down. My Mum is still really poorly. She doesn't get ill very often and I don't recall seeing her this ill in a very long time.  I have had the week from hell.  I won't bore you with the details. I don't want this blog to become a place where I stop by to whinge.  A lot of time I just haven't had anything to say.

Today is different as today I was determined to sew. I've decided I haven't gone off sewing. Like most things in my life in recent months the constant illness and fatigue (not to mention huge heaps of stress) has limited my life considerably.  If I didn't have to work - even part time - I may have the energy left over for stuff like housework, sewing and any other social activity I normally indulge in.  If you went through my diary you'd find a lot of crossing out of engagements made over the last few months.

The sewing I did today was to make the February block for Di in the HipBee's. Everyone waiting on blocks has been really kind and patient.   

HipBee February Block for Di 

I really enjoyed making this block for Di. I'd never made flying geese before. I often go wrong with triangles but I didn't go wrong with these. Oh apart from when I sewed one of the rows wrong and had the geese following some of the others instead of flying away from. That only happened because I was being a smarty pants and didn't refer to a picture. It was only when I ironed it I thought: Hmmm that doesn't look as good as if they were the other way round. Ah yes that's because it's wrong.

The most difficult bit of doing this block was photographing it. So sorry for the bad pictures. It's not great light and I'm determined to post this off tomorrow so had to take pics now.

Getting ready to post

I'm also going to post the feather I made ages ago for Lucy. I'd not done a siggy block, so it's been sat on the side doing nobody any good.  Tomorrow I'll be doing the X&+ blocks for February in Bee a Brit Stingy.  Then I'll be almost caught up. And that is one good feeling!

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