Monday, May 28, 2007

I made a skirt!

I've had a great weekend. Today I went out for a walk in the rain to Reepham Station. It's about fifteen, twenty minutes away. The old station, to the right, houses a teashop and sells odd things like jams and marmalades and boxes, like this: and this: Then I went across to the building on the left, where there is more variety of objects, including pine furniture that's made on site.

I then came home and got stuck into making my skirt.
I've sewn it together now, just the very top band to hem. In my usual fashion I just got stuck in and learned as I went along. It's been about 20 years since I last used a sewing machine. The zip attachment is very cool, though I need more practise at inserting zips... Unfortunately it is a wee bit tight. It does fit but I could do with losing a few pounds before it will be really comfy. I used a skirt I really like as a template. I actually couldn't have made the skirt any bigger as I had ordered too little material. Next time I'll order more. As a learning experiment it was great fun though and I'm sure I'll improve next time round and it'll fit!

I'm tired and hungry now (when I sew something I have to make it in one go, otherwise I don't finish it for four years). I wanted to finish it to show Anna tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Knitting Is DEAD - Long Live Sewing

Look what I bought today! I've been wanting a sewing machine for ages. I'm so excited.

I've been inspired by a lot of sewing blogs recently, mostly SouleMamma. There's an apron blog spin-off that got me very excited (not sure why?) and I've seen people making things like coasters and tops and dresses and skirts. I particularly like matching items, when the whole family has clothing made from the same material. I don't think Hagos will let me make us matching items though, might have to persuade my sister instead. We are similar in other ways: we both have an infectious laugh, we both sway backwards and forwards when we're standing still, we both hum absently to ourselves, and we both have short-term memory loss. Jacqueline recently told me a very funny story about taking money out of the joint bank account she has with her husband in the morning, forgetting about it, then wondering where the money had gone when she later went with him to take the money out again. The best part of the story was when her husband found an emergency phone number to complain. THEN she remembered.

Anyway, I digress.

My husband has now gone on tour. He flew to Russia on Saturday morning. It's their first gig tonight. He's away for six and a half weeks. So Meg and I are cosying ourselves in at home to make the most of the situation. I have BIG PLANS of THINGS TO DO while he's away. The sewing machine is part of it, but I'm keen to turn the whole house into a creative venue.

I also went food shopping today. My diet is very simple when Hagos is away. I eat fish, vegetables, fruit and I buy myself little sweet treats. Today I got some meringues from M&S, which I'll have with raspberries and cream.

Though it is raining, I was glad of the weather today as my Doc Marten summer sandals have a broken clasp, and my Animal sunglasses have lost one tiny little screw, thereby rendering both unwearable!!! Luckily my Rocket Dog boots are fine: I think I'll take it easy the rest of the day. Might do some more house-setting-up. Also want to critique some writing a friend gave me to look at. I'm very impressed by her dedication. Will also have a bath and see what I feel like after that.

Meg is better now after being on heat again. She got a rather nasty love bite between her shoulder blades. I had to put special plasters on her to stop her reopening the wound every day. She put up with it very well. She's been so sweet since Hagos left, not too clingy this time, a nice balance of cuddles and separate time. She made me laugh yesterday when I gave her new biscuits for her teeth. She was so eager to eat them she stepped in her soft food to get at them!
Little cuddly cat is THE BEST. I saw what must have been one of her relations looking out at me from a house when I walked through the graveyard yesterday. Both me and the cat did a double take, and if I hadn't just left Meg asleep on the couch at home I would've wondered what she was doing in someone else's house. Then I remembered Meg has several relations living in her previous house (her previous owner went to the same cat mum to get more kittens). I see cats that look like Meg frequently. They have her face and eyes if not always her colour. But this cat was small and ginger and had the exact same leg stripes! It reminded me of my own relatives back home in Dumfries. My mother has a large, extensive family and I frequently bump into people with brown hair and brown eyes who look like me.

Monday, May 21, 2007


This is what was happening in our house on Saturday night. Our friend Robert came to stay. He is due to move to Germany in two weeks' time so this was a farewell visit. Our time with Robert always follows a well-worn course: drinking, playing Risk and 'troughing' (when Robert eats an entire packet of Bombay Mix from a bowl).

I've had a cold for over a week now so I had a couple of gin and tonics then drank water for the rest of the night. Robert won the game of Risk by not drawing attention to himself while we were playing (a virtually unheard of occurence). We wish him success and happiness in Germany with his band and family.

My cold has remained constant every day since I got it, that horribly heavy, sore body feeling. Sore throat, shooting headaches. Really nasty. Last night I was raging hot in bed and woke up today feeling better for the first time. Unfortunately I also woke up with a strange stomach thing. I had it last night too. I couldn't eat much dinner. This morning I had breakfast but haven't had any lunch and I'm not sure if I'll manage dinner (this is almost unheard of for me!). But at least I can function with a funny tummy. Better than having a cold.

Knitting news: I'm knitting another sock in mustard-coloured DK Alpaka with purple 4-ply and Debbie Bliss Maya details. So it's a mix of DK, 4-ply and chunky wool. Quite bizarre but I think it'll turn out okay. It's a half-hearted affair though.

My husband leaves for a six week tour on Friday. The first few days are always the most difficult. Adjusting to him being away, getting used to being by myself at home. Meg getting used to him being away too. I envy him travelling though. I used to tour with him, about ten years ago. We mainly toured in Europe, but I also got to go to Japan and America. Japan was by far the coolest place I've ever been, though I love Europe and Scandinavia too.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I had my hair cut and coloured today. My hairdresser, Claudia, came to my house instead of me going to her as I realised my appointment coincided with my husband going away for a few days with the car.

I was glad to have it done as my hair has been strangling me in bed, and it got so long it had no body or life to it, it just hung like curtains.
I've been feeling alarmed by my appearance lately (pre-haircut - hopefully this is the first step to recovery!). I took a couple of photos of myself last week and was shocked by how tired and old and sad I looked. Kind of like that programme Ten Years Younger, before any work has been done.

I think we've had so much going on lately, with my husband coming and going and various appointments and stuff I've had - I feel like I've been going through the motions this month and just ticking stuff off once I've done it instead of really enjoying each thing. I feel like I'm on the home run now. The build up is all towards Hagos going away on tour at the end of the month for six weeks. My work life is so busy and full-on (even though I only work four days a week) that I can't be too busy outside of work otherwise I start feeling claustrophobic. So, for the rest of the day I shall be bathing and maybe watching some gentle comedy, and steaming some vegetables and cuddling my cat.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blue and Red Socks; Cats absent then present again!

So, we have moved offices, and I'm glad to be out of crown court (and all the panicking people) and back in with some old friends and colleagues.

These are what I've been knitting on the bus this week:
I designed the colours myself! LOL. I really like them, only problem is, one sock is two rows longer than the other, because I was so blase about the pattern I read the foot length part when I was knitting the leg part. So I may have to knit two more socks the same to be able to pair them properly. The blue is Jaeger Baby Merino 4 ply, the red is Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply.

My little kitty has been on heat again this week. This is as much as we've seen of her since Saturday:Little paw prints on the floor. When I came home from work tonight though she was in the house sleeping. Then I sat down and she got on me, put her front paws high up on my chest, made me lean back so she could climb high up on my chest and lie on me there! It was SO nice to have her home though. We miss her so much when she's not here.

She's still a little energetic but I can see the hormones are leaving her system and I expect by tomorrow she'll be sleeping all day to catch up on the last two weeks. I'm DEFINITELY taking her to the vet this time. It doesn't seem fair to make her go through this every four weeks. She's still a stunning little ginger surprise though.I'm just about to have a bath. Then will hopefully have an early night, and maybe I'll take a whisky and ginger ale into the bath (my new favourite drink). Or maybe I should just have decaf earl grey tea. I'm SO happy it's Friday tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a relaxed weekend.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Skirt material, New Selvedge Magazine and Relaxation!

I finished my second red and green baby sock, but I didn't bother photographing it as it, obviously, looks exactly the same as the first. You'll have to take my word for it.

I received my Amy Butler material in the post mid-week, and was very excited!

I'm hoping to have a little left over when I've made the skirt, to make some kind of bag (this is a vague, unformed idea). As soon as it arrived I was straight onto Cotton Patch's website looking at the other material I want to buy. I figure I can have LOADS of skirts I like for about a tenner a time (once I've spent a fortune buying the sewing machine, of course).

Today I stopped off at the art gallery to buy the latest edition of Selvedge: I haven't read it yet, I'm saving it for tomorrow when I can sit at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and the Sunday papers and spend the whole morning reading and dreaming.

My husband is away working for a couple of days and I've been doing lots of stuff that I like: reading, bathing, walking, drinking coffee, knitting, reading knitting blogs, pottering around the house, and visiting John Lewis. I also bought lots of salad stuff from M&S today and had that for lunch, then had steamed vegetables, houmous and pitta bread for dinner.

My favourite colours of wool at the moment are petrol blue (like my toiletries bag) and (hm, how do I explain this) a saturated, off-pink colour. I think it's Rowan Cashsoft DK. My friend Anna made a hat out of it and it's so lovely.

I was looking for inspiration in John Lewis; partly in mind was finding bright orange wool to knit my colleague Laura a cardigan for her coming-soon baby. She mentioned she has bought bright orange shoes and she'd like a cardigan to match! I didn't find any though.

Instead I bought reduced Jaeger 4-ply Baby Merino and started knitting more baby socks straight away:

I'm planning to knit the toes in red and the rest of the sock in blue. I'm also wearing a wrap-around dress, which I LOVE. I bought it in a sale in Top Shop and it's so comfy. I really like dresses and need to buy more. Complementing my outfit are my beady bed socks.

Finally, the sweetest thing I've seen, EVER.