Sunday, April 29, 2007

Small but Perfectly Formed

I know it isn't much, but I knitted this baby sock on the way into work on the bus this week. It's a perfect project for me at the moment as I get such quick results.

I'm sorry to say Gemma fell by the wayside quicker than even I thought it would. I might wait until my husband is on tour again before I attempt to continue with it. That way I can leave it spread over his side of the couch so it's easy to pick up.

I inherited my husband's old phone last week as my clam shell spasmed-out and deleted most of my phone book and all of my messages. I now have the Banana Splits theme tune as my ring tone as this was on the phone already, and I love it. It makes me so happy when my phone rings. I loved the Banana Splits when I was a kid, it was so silly.

I've been reading more lately. I re-read books five and six of the Harry Potter series, ready for the final book being published in July. Then I read Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I was curious because he was paid an advance of £1,000,000 for it. I think the characters are well-named and there is some snappy dialogue BUT the plot is very weak and cliched and NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS.

Now I'm reading Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan. I think it's totally amazing. I'm loving it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cats, walks and haircuts

I'm SO tired. I had about two hours sleep last night. And had to work today, so I'm barely functioning.

This was me and Meg in my shed on Monday. Usually she stands right in front of me when I'm working on my laptop, but on Monday she suddenly plonked herself down as you can see and fell asleep. I think she liked the warm vent that her belly was covering. I tried to switch the laptop off before I went to lunch but had to push my finger underneath her head, which she didn't like. I got hissed at.

I have no knitting to show, though today I started a pair of baby socks on the bus into work. I'm using leftover wool, green and red Rowan cashsoft. No recipient in mind, I just felt like knitting something very easy and very quick and very light to carry.

Hagos and I have a busy period coming up. He has various work commitments and will be home and away a lot, and my office is about to move buildings this weekend. We're moving out of crown court and back into my old office building where I have lots of friends, a few of which are knitters. I'll still be doing the same job but the idea is that our workload will be spread among more people.

We took a walk to our little stream on Monday too. It's where we go when we want to think.

My hair is ultra long at the moment. When I saw Mariella on the book show on Sunday I thought I might like to get this done next time I see my hairdresser. I have an appointment for mid-May (she's in demand) and I can't wait.

Okay, I'm off to bed!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


My husband rejoined his tour on Tuesday, flying to Copenhagen from Stansted this time. He flies back into Norwich tomorrow and I'll pick him up after I finish work.

On Monday I bought these lovely trims from a sewing shop near where I work. Of course, Meg had to get in on the act:
Immediately after I took this shot she jumped on the trims. Then we had a few seconds of battle with me trying to scoop them back into the bag and her trying to play with them. It often happens while I'm knitting that she'll be sleeping beside me on the couch, then I'll notice that she's watching my wool dangling out of the corner of her eye. I have to stop until she falls asleep again. If I don't I suddenly get pounced on and the jumper gets chewed.

Last night she was very clingy with me, so I took her up to bed with me and she slept sweetly beside me until half three in the morning. Then she started jumping on the furniture, so I put her out onto the landing and shut the bedroom door. She left me alone till I got up for work.

I took this photo while we drove into town the other night. I often wish I was living in the mountains of Scotland but occasionally I appreciate the flatness of the Norfolk countryside, and feel a fondness for it:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's My Birthday!!!

These photos were taken at my 3rd and 4th birthday parties. I always had great parties when I was a kid, thanks to my mum organising it all. Mostly the same people came (as you can maybe see from the photos!), i.e. cousins and friends and neighbours. My sister Jacqueline has her hands on my shoulders in the right hand photo. We had a great picnic of sandwiches, cake and juice, then played party games like pass the parcel and one game (the name of which I've forgotten) where everyone stands round in a circle, and someone stands in the middle to be the 'farmer' and everyone sings, "The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife, ee-oh-my-daddy-oh the farmer takes a wife." The person in the middle would choose a 'wife' from the circle to join them in the middle. The wife would then take a maid, and I don't remember what the maid took. Anyway, it ended with the last person who was picked being slapped vigorously on their back by everyone!

Today my husband took me to Ha Ha's for lunch:
And he and Meg bought me a digital photo frame for my birthday, which I'm very excited about and have plans for different folders already: I specially requested some Amy Butler material from my work colleagues for my birthday and plan to make an A-Line skirt fairly similar to this (this is the actual material): And now we're going out for an Indian meal. I don't think we'll be out for long. We both still feel full from lunch and are keen to snuggle up on the couch with Meg.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Padded Dress

I really like this dress and when I eventually get my sewing machine I may attempt to make something like it.
I also really like Amy Butler stuff, designs and fabric, but it's difficult to source in the UK. I've requested some Coriander Seagreen material from my work colleagues for my birthday this weekend. I'll make a skirt with it.
I'm missing my husband very much and looking forward to seeing him on Friday. Meg has been very sweet to me, and didn't wake me up at all during the night last night. I jumped out of bed just after 7am to go looking for her as I thought she hadn't been home all night, only to find her stretching and looking sleepy on the landing when I opened the bedroom door.
It's my birthday on Saturday, and my friend Deb's birthday on Monday. We were born two days apart, our mothers worked together, our dads were friends when they were boys. We were sat together on our first day at primary school and we're still friends now. I last saw her when her son was just a few weeks old - that was about six years ago! We keep in touch via text and email. I have a photo of us when we were about 10 years old, standing in my front garden holding a couple of rag dolls. I'll try to find the photo and post it.
On our sixteenth birthday we took the train to Glasgow very early in the morning. On the train we mixed lipgloss with dark eyeshadow and put it on our lips. This was during our Goth phase. We felt very daring to be spending the day in Glasgow, and I spent about five hours choosing a Cure T-shirt to buy from an outlandish shop (coming from Dumfries, all the shops were outlandish). Years later, backstage at a festival in Europe when I was touring with Hagos's band, Robert Smith was standing a few feet away from me, wearing his wonky lipstick. I was so excited!
Deb was much more original than me when it came to her look. She had bleached hair, with dark roots, and she made some sleeves from a pair of fishnet tights. We both made our own dresses, mainly from ripped bits of material, which we thought very avant garde. From the age of 14 we went to pubs every Friday and Saturday night, dancing to the B52s (Rock Lobster) and The Mission with a sideways, insect-like back and forth movement. Occasionally we would 'bag' the school, meeting up at our friend Annette's house as both her parents were out at work, where we would watch video recordings of Top of the Pops. Good times.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Eggs, Warm Fire, Local Airport

We had been eating Cadburys Easter Eggs until seeing a TV trailer about exploited children working 14 hours a day on cocoa plantations to produce our Easter Eggs. So we switched to Green and Blacks just to make sure, though I think Cadburys has a fair trade policy anyway, and vaguely recall that Cadburys owns Green and Blacks? I must check with my friend Janie who knows about these things.

Saturday was a lovely day. Eating our eggs, sitting in front of a roaring fire: and reading my new magazines, Selvedge: which are totally amazing and inspirational. All about design. I also managed a bit more of Gemma, which I'm finding surprisingly easy this time round. I may even finish it!!!

Today I dropped my husband off at Norwich Airport for him to fly to Amsterdam to join his tour. Usually he flies from one of the London airports, so it was amazing to take him to Norwich International instead. It took 35 mins round trip. I miss him very much already! Luckily he'll be back on Friday so we'll have our long weekend together as usual. I always wander round the house a bit lost the first day he goes away. Takes me a while to adjust and get into my stride. Meg has already gone to sleep on his couch in his studio.
I'm now on my healthy diet of fish, veg and fruit juice after my little foray into chocolate.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gemma: Resurrected in time for Easter!

I've had to stop myself, several times, from buying new wool and starting a new project.

Anyway, here is the lovely Gemma, resurrected. I've completed two sleeves and the photo above is of an almost-complete back. I just have to finish it and knit the front and then the damn jumper will be complete at last (so far it must be two years in the making). The loops don't seem so bad this time round (every sixth row involves knitting three stitches together through back loop). Maybe I've finally got a technique together. PLUS I've decided to ignore all the millions of ends for now.

I've been off work for the last week and a half, which is good in itself. But my mind is muddled at the moment. Trying to decide how/when to move to Edinburgh, figuring my husband's touring schedule in with Meg's potential pregnancy and what to do with my shed. It all whirls round in my head and I haven't arrived at a clear decision.

Today Hagos and I sat on the couch and ate an Easter egg and watched Futurama and that was FAB.

Last night we watched Galaxy Quest. I've seen the film about four times now (spread over two years) and it makes me laugh so much. Especially Alan Rickman.

Now we're thinking about going out to Wagamama's for dinner. Hagos goes to Europe on Sunday but will be back for my birthday next Saturday.

Another view of Gemma:

And an even cuter picture of little popcorn paws:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Beady Socks, Camouflage Sleeves, and a Bolero!

First of all - finished beady bed socks. They're really soft underfoot, and warm (though short). And very quick to knit up. I had the second one half-finished for ages and decided to just get on with it yesterday while watching Persuasion. They are, of course, knitted in RYC cashsoft 4-ply.

Secondly - sleeves.

I know they're a bit bizarre. I bought the wool one day on the way into town to pick up my husband from the station. The train was delayed so I stopped off at a sweet little wool shop en route and fell in love with this Debbie Bliss - I think it's Maya. I didn't know what I wanted to make with it but couldn't leave the shop without it. I bought three hanks thinking I'd make a bag, but when I got it home really wanted to knit it up as sleeves. Initially I thought about buying other, chunky wool for the body to make a jumper, but then decided to make a shrug instead (I'd had the idea since seeing the sleeves in one of the Rowan magazines). I made the pattern up as I went along, and only had to backtrack a little. Knitted two sleeves the same then joined it in a block along the back, knitting a love heart into it. But it kept slipping off my shoulders, so I ripped out the middle panel and put a gap in for my head. It looks a wee bit strange but the sleeves are SO warm and I LOVE the colours. I have enough short-sleeved jumpers for it to be useful. I finished this about six months ago.

And finally my bolero: I finished this about two years ago. I made it when I was working my way through Vintage Knits. It's knitted in 4-ply Jaeger, which is lovely and soft and cosy to wear. The only problem I have with the pattern is that the band is knitted separately (which initially I was pleased about because I hate picking up to knit bands!) however, it was only after I'd sewn the band onto the garment that I realised I should have kept it taut. My band is now crinkly and I have to steam press it to make it sit right. So it's turned into more of a cosy bolero, than a wearing-out bolero. My friend sewed the two Chinese fastenings onto it for me. I really like them, though when I saw this pin in John Lewis the other day I thought I might change them for that. It reminds me of the pins we used to pin our kilts when I was a kid! The buttons are there for no reason except I like them and bought them at the same time as the pin. The background for this photo is my filthy car.