Friday, 18 May 2012

Five fave things (or reasons to be cheerful)

I'd been thinking of doing a post about bits and pieces that have entertained and interested me recently and then I saw The Flog ('Felicia Day's weekly vlog') and found an eminently nickable title from a segment of it. Yay!

1. Newreka! Eureka's back on British telly! Not sure what I made of the opening episode of season 5 to be honest, but as with all good programmes it's been cancelled so I'm determined to enjoy the last few episodes.

2. And talking of Eureka, this made me laugh and laugh -  Felicia Day and Colin Ferguson learn to crochet! The crochet bit starts at about 2.28 if you're impatient and want to skip to it. 'It's a shield' had me lol-ing - Colins are clearly all a bit the same then.

3. And more on the geek/crafting interface - nupps:

 I first saw this posted somewhere on Ravelry - I know there are so many variations on the 'One does not simply..' meme but this is my favourite by far. I've not tried nupps yet but I'm sure they'd be a bit of a nightmare. Generally speaking I have an objection to knitted bobbles of any type - not because of their perceived difficulty, rather it's an aesthetic thing. I just don't like the look of them and never have done. I remember wishing I could pick the bobbles off a jumper I had when I was a kid. But I've seen a couple of patterns with nupps that I've quite liked so maybe one day I will purl seven together. And stroll into Mordor.

the innards of a tulip

4. Monty Don's jumper. I've caught up on Gardeners' World now, but the only thing I've really taken away from it is the thought that Monty Don's grey funnel-neck jumper looks really really cosy. I think I need a cosy jumper. I used to have a lambswool roll-neck but it seems to have vanished. Usually I can't wear wool next to my skin but that one was just about bearable and very cosy. Can you tell that I'm cold? I was standing shivering in the school playground today, dropping Miss Mouse off, and wished I had my gloves with me. It is damply cool so feels about twice as cold as it actually is. I have planting out to do, but I'm a bit of a fair-weather gardener and don't want to get cold and wet.  Besides I've still got this sinussy cold - getting cold and wet wouldn't be advisable, would it?  No, clearly it is my duty to stay inside drinking mugs of coffee or hot ribena. Or hot toddies.

The plants will wait.

5.  Ah warmth! The finished hot-water bottle cover in all its cosiness - Miss Mouse loves it.

And so do I. I skipped the buttonholes on the reverse because when I tried them they looked untidy and really the garter-stitch has so much stretch it doesn't matter. I've never been able to do neat buttonholes. I should probably practice.

Oooh, ooh - second dreich sock cast on! I did most of the rib while watching Eureka and Big Bang Theory last night.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


The Boy's bit of ceramic painting.

When he was choosing what object to paint it was a toss-up between this little cat box or a dragon (there was rather a nice one that looked a bit like Smaug sitting on the treasure), but I think he went for the cat so that he could paint its markings. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm so proud!

In other thrilling news (no, really), I have just (like five minutes ago) finished the hot-water-bottle cover! It's very squishy. Also a bit wonky - I'm not very good at sewing my knitting up. But Miss Mouse won't care.

I still haven't cast on the Second Sock  - I'd better do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

*cough splutter*

It's been a busy week. Last Tuesday I got my new car and simultaneously came down with a Stinking Cold so I've spent a lot of the last week in bed coughing, and haven't really had a chance to bond with the car yet. It's showing no signs of personality yet, but it's early days.

I've got to show this off:

On the election day the kids had the day off school so we went to the local ceramic-painting place for the first time in ages. Miss Mouse did her usual instant-gratification thing and painted an object with acrylic paints so she could get glitter on it and take it straight home, but the Boy and I opted for painting with underglaze for the gorgeous finish. This means waiting 'til it's been fired of course but we went to collect our efforts on Friday and it was worth the wait. I should have taken a picture of the Boy's effort actually, it's gorgeous -might do that tomorrow. But the above is my effort, as a slightly belated birthday present for my Beloved, who is a bit of a Trekkie. It turned out beautifully considering I don't have the steadiest of hands. A shame about the red spot- the underglaze is a lot paler than the final fired colour or I'd have spotted (*groan*) the spot. My Beloved seemed pleased anyway.

Also in the creativity zone, I finished the gloomy sock that was depressing me in the winter. It looks okay in bright sunshine! Now I need to cast on the other one. Casting-on in the round is one of my least favourite things so best left 'til I feel better and have my wits about me.

For now my knitting of choice is a squidgy garter-stitch hot-water bottle cover for Miss Mouse:

The nice thing about chunky wool is that the knitting grows so fast. I've nearly finished the other side now. Sewing it up will probably take the most time..

Meanwhile out in the mini-greenhouse, things are a-sprouting!

And the garden is beginning to wake up a bit.

We have plans for the 'front garden' too.  It's actually mostly monobloc and slab-paving but there is a squiggly long bed down one side which we have been ignoring for too long.  It's quite exposed out there, the wind howls down the road in winter (and yesterday and the day before actually), so I'm trying to find fairly low and robust plants.

Actually, a good thing about not working at the moment is that for the first time in years I actually get half a chance to recover from colds, though oddly I'm getting worse colds than usual.  Once the kids have gone to school I can go back to bed, or I can sit on the settee with a coffee, a hot-water-bottle and my knitting and watch Gardeners' World on catch-up.  I'm not really a Monty Don fan* but there's something very soothing about gardening programmes when you're feeling a bit rough. Especially when the presenters are out in the cold and wet *evil grin*.

* I don't dislike him, I'm just not one of his loyal starry-eyed female fans :-D.

Friday, 4 May 2012

A farewell to Horrorcow

*sigh* The Fourth was not with us today.

I didn't name my car but I did come to think of her (yes, her - a Citroen Xsara Picasso is very definitely not masculine) as Horrorcow. For those not familiar with the How To Train Your Dragon books, Horrorcow is Fishlegs' hunting-dragon - a hopelessly un-aggressive vegetarian dragon. She has a gentle mooing personality. Much like my car.

The car went in for its MOT the other day, failed on several points and went back to the garage this morning to fix things. But the garage rang later in the morning to say they'd discovered another more drastic problem and we realised we'd reached the point where fixing it would cost more than the car was worth. So she's gone for scrap and I feel unaccountably sad. I learned to drive in my thirties and although I liked my first car (now My Beloved's car, or rather 'our car' for the time being), it was the Picasso that was really my car, the one I felt happy and comfortable driving, the one that got the kids and I around, so it's the one that I think of as my first car.