Wednesday, 29 May 2019

And some more knitting

Hello universe! It's me!  Among the many things going on recently I finally got round to doing a bit of knitting with my plant-dyed yarns - about time really, I've been saying all along that I'd like to try some Fair Isle with my own colours. It's just a sample to try out the way the colours work together - the yellow (dyed with marigolds) turned out to be a bit strong and dominant really, and I think it probably would have a bit better with the horsetail yellow that's the yellow skein at the top in the picture above. However it was fun to knit - fun just to do a sample actually, knitting for the pleasure of knitting rather than to make a specific thing.

And the reverse is always kind of fun too!

It was an absolute pain in the bum to knit flat though - I've always knitted Fair Isle in the round, but couldn't find my DPNs, and the circ I found was too long for looping so I just thought I'd knit flat. The main area was irritating but do-able, but knitting the rib was so frustrating! I'm always astonished to see Fair Isle knitting patterns that are knitted flat - it's just making it harder for yourself. Yes, if you've never knitted in the round before it means you have to learn that first, but it's not difficult and so worth it when you come to do Fair Isle - you get to see the pattern growing before your eyes, and most importantly, you spot almost immediately when you've miscounted/been distracted by Doctor Who, and can rectify it straight away.

In other news, the Boy has just finished his Nat5 exams, which is a huge relief as they seemed to last forever and he'd got to the point where he couldn't see or even imagine beyond them (remember that feeling?). His last exam was yesterday and today was his last day of study leave, so although I was working this morning we were able to celebrate by watching two episodes of Doctor Who that he vaguely remembered but that I had Never Seen - how can that even have happened?!

Monday, 18 February 2019

Oh, look - it's some knitting!

It feels like forever since I last blogged about knitting! So here's my current work-in-progress - a razorshell lace scarf in the same wool I made a hat in last winter, so I will be matching!  I did one of these scarves a few years ago - it was one of my early attempts at lace and it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r, partly because it used 4-ply (this one's in aran), and partly because I hadn't done a lot of lace knitting and although it's a simple pattern I had to concentrate. It shows how much of knitting is just down to practice and becoming familiar with a technique, because the latest scarf seems amazingly easy compared with the old one. I can pretty much knit it without paying attention and if I do go blank for a moment it's easy to 'read' what I should be doing. So it's very nearly mindless knitting that I can do while watching telly - currently we are watching Bones which we managed never to see while it was on (yep, we missed 12 whole seasons).

Anyway, enough knitting - look what Miss M sewed! The Great British Sewing Bee is back and Miss M felt inspired by it, so she sat down and made a needle-case yesterday!

Isn't it fab?

She's very proud of it because it's the first time she's sewn with 'actual fabric' rather than 'tea-towels and old curtains'. She's made a few things using tea-towels as the fabric (her swimming-bag for example) and I gave her the lining from an old pair of curtains to mess around with and practice her 'driving' on the sewing-machine. I should really do that myself - I'm not very good at sewing curves on a sewing machine!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Calm January

My aim for January was for it to be relatively calm. It hasn't really been calm of course - life tends towards busy after all, but after the frenzy that was December it was nice to calm down a bit.

It was very cold today, by the standards of this neck of the woods - my car said it was -7°C, and it felt it. But it was (mostly) clear and bright and it was my day off so I went for a quick walk, and the colours were lovely. Very soothing. It's a funny thing, but the difference between -1 or -2 and chillier numbers like -6 or -7 seems really palpable. Freezing, is well, freezing, but in a sort of 'hat and gloves will sort it' kind of way, whereas today was definitely 'could be doing with thermals under my clothes, oh my god my thighs have gone numb' kind of weather. In fact I got a bit chilled trying to get one of the cats back in this evening and have been wearing a bobble-hat and scarf ever since...

I read something yesterday about enjoying January and appreciating the calmer colours after the glitter/tinsel/fairy-lights of December, and thought that perhaps I approach January in the wrong way, trying to plough through it. I always try to enjoy what I can but maybe I should try to appreciate its inherent Januaryness in some way. Still, a bit late now - a thought for next year maybe!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Just some rambling

I made my Christmas cake today, for the first time in several years actually. And it's a full-size one because I couldn't find my notes on the ingredients for the slightly smaller cake I made last time, and I really couldn't be bothered doing all the arithmetic again! It's such a faff when you're basing calculations around the number of eggs while simultaneously tweaking the ingredients (omitting mixed peel and glace cherries, that kind of thing). But it's done now and it smells nice. 

I also went for another very quick walk to get a dose of sunlight and fresh air. It was pretty chilly and some of the puddles still had ice around the edge. I like ice patterns, there's so much variety.

Not a very good picture - I thought had a better one than that but it might be on my actual camera rather than my phone. I'm trying to get into the habit of carrying my camera with me regularly again.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Red sticks in the sun (not exactly poetry)

A clear, bright day on December is a wonderful thing. I'm trying to make the most of what daylight there is and get out as much as possible, even if it's only a 20 minute walk. I love low sunlight in winter - all the colours look so rich, especially that red dogwood.

Once again I'm blogging from my phone and finding it quite tricky to be honest - aside from apparently having huge clumsy fingertips, I seem to have a really short attention span and forget what I'm trying to type if I can't see it all at once. I was actually going somewhere with this. Nope, gone. Perhaps I should compose blog posts in haiku form.

Right, I'm boring myself now, I'll leave off boring the world at large and go back to trying to find out about SQL as the Boy has just muttered something about it.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Today's adventure

I'm experimenting with blogging from my 'phone. It's like trying to write a letter while pushing it through the letterbox. That is not today's adventure.

Technically Miss M's adventure rather than mine, but as I have my own concert band past, I rather enjoyed it.  It was the regional heat of the Scottish Concert Band Festival, and their school band got a Gold Plus, which automatically sends them to the final in Perth in the spring (I say spring but I am familiar with Perth in March, it could easily be snowing).  Miss M is very excited. I've got to say, they played beautifully. I'm really impressed with the quality of music at her school! So it was worth getting up at dark&gloomy o'clock, to get her there on time, having had another rubbish night's sleep due to my annoying cough. Still, there are worse ways to spend a morning than listening to live music and chatting to friends.  Ha, sounds like quite a hipster morning!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

I had this plan..

.. to get back to regular blogging. I actually have loads of things I could ramble on about. Can I remember them? Not a chance!

I have a cold - nothing major, sore throat, cough, the usual, but I'm feeling rough.  I've spent a fair amount of today in bed - reading, sleeping, or catching up on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on my tablet.  The cuddly boy cat has been my companion for most of the day:

I can't remember where I was going with this. He's lovely though, isn't he?

No longer having a child at primary school means I'm no longer on the PTA, and though I miss aspects of it, I've noticed how much time and energy I must have been putting into it because normally by the 1st of December I'd be stressing out big-time and this year I'm not. Not yet anyway.  I'm still busy but in different ways (ways that don't involve epic battles with a photocopier) - early start tomorrow, for example, as Miss M's in the school concert band and they have a thing on tomorrow morning. And the Boychild has his prelims (mock exams) soon so he gets me to help him revise. This is frequently comical, given that the last time I did chemistry was about 1985...