Friday, 31 October 2014

Neeps and apples

It's ten to seven on Hallowe'en, we've just run out of sweets and have taken the neepie lanterns back in off the doorstep. And switched all the lights off. Sorry, kids, it's all over for another year. I got a bit creative with the first neep this year. It turns out that cats' eyes are bit fiddly to carve though - for those who've never carved a neep they're much harder than pumpkins and it's tricky to get details, partly of course because they're that much smaller. Very satisfying though!

I went into Glasgow today and met up with a friend who I don't see nearly often enough.  We met up the Yarn Cake which is a very lovely yarn shop/cafe in the West End of Glasgow. Coffee was consumed as was apple crumble cake (my favourite) and we chatted and knitted*, and also caught up with Antje who runs the Yarn Cake and who I also hadn't seen for ages.  The West End was looking very autumnal. Very much a lovely day.

River Kelvin

* I finished that garter stitch square - wooh, achievement!

Thursday, 30 October 2014


My knitting mojo went AWOL this autumn. Actually for most of the summer too. I don't know why. It happens occasionally though. In that time I've finished a mitten (apart from the thumb) but failed to cast on its mate, and I've knitted one and a half garter stitch squares. This is not like me. On the other hand I've been reading in the evenings rather than knitting-while-watching-telly, so that might explain it.

The other day I dug out some really nice wool and cast on something I was really keen to cast on - a very quick project to get me in the mood for knitting again. And it was going swimmingly for the first two repeats of the cable pattern - and then I put it down to go and do something dull and domestic like making the dinner. And when I came back there was a needle missing. I suspect a large cuddly cat may be involved as he's been known to chew wooden knitting needles before and the missing needle is a rather lovely 4.5mm Brittany. But I can find no sign of it anywhere, not even splinters, and, yes, I have lain on my tummy shining a torch under the settee. Curiously I have no other 4.5 mm needles, though plenty of 4.0 and 5.0mm which is odd because they're not sizes I use often.

I think I may be jinxed.

I've come to the conclusion that the missing needle is not likely to suddenly reappear so yesterday evening I went and ordered another pair from an ebay seller. And then I realised (five minutes before I had to run out of the house to help at the school Hallowe'en disco) that I'd ordered the 4.0 mm not the 4.5. I'm such a numpty.  Rather than attempting to cancel or amend the order in a hurry, which was staggeringly unlikely to go well, I ordered the right size later on (from a different seller because I was embarrassed). Well, you can't have too many needles can you?

 Clearly innocent

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

In which I re-enter the world of blogging.

It's been a while hasn't it? Stuff has been going on - Miss M has had a birthday, I have started studying again (I'm going to finish the Open University degree I started before the kids came along), and, er, I dunno what else. It's just all seemed rather busy recently. Mostly the studying really - I've just been figuring out the best times to fit it in. My plan is to stay a week ahead with it at all times so that when things like the school October holidays and Important Eighth Birthdays happen and I get no studying done whatsoever I'm not losing way.

This year I left booking the cattery too late and it was completely booked up so it wasn't possible for us all to go up to see my parents in the October break.  In the end the kids and I took the train up and left My Beloved with the cats, giving them a bit of peace and quiet to watch zombie films or whatever it is they do when we're not around.

We had a lovely time in the not so frozen north. Miss M and I even went paddling in the burn up in the hills (very 'refreshing' - euphemism for 'a bit chilly'), and the Boy accidentally went paddling when he fell in the Spey. Fortunately it was a) slow-moving at that point, b) shallow, so all he got were wet feet, and his socks and trainers dried in no time next to my parents' wood-burning stove. Bliss... (the stove, not the wet trainers).