Thursday, 20 September 2007

Woo hoo!

I'm in ravelry! I'm going to spend the rest of the day at work trying not to look on the site!

My user name is CraftyLibrarian - look me up in a few days when I've put something worthwhile on there ;-)

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Scatterday #4: no pictures, just ideas

Oh deary deary me. There has been a small glitch this week, which means that I can't upload my scatterday pictures at the moment. For some reason my computer will allow me to upload pictures of cute cats, but not things beginning with Q. Sigh. But in the spirit of the thing, here is my entry for this week anyway, which I will redo as soon as my computer stops playing silly b**gers.

This weeks letter sent me running for the dictionary, which is always an exercise in education.

So, I have discovered that a Quadroon is a person who's parents are a mulatto and a white person, so is one-quarter black by descent; a Quaich is a traditional Scottish shallow drinking cup with 2 handles; Quartan is a mild form of malaria where the fever recurs every 3rd day; and a Quean is an impudent or badly behaved girl or woman.

All very fascinating, but not particularly helpful. However, after much deliberation I bring to you the Triplet of Qs:

  • A quaver from husband's latest piece from his piano teacher
  • A quadrangle (at Durham Cathedral)
  • And some rather dodgily drawn Quidditch robes!

Not knitting

I've been saving my blog entries recently, as I think I've been rather knitting obsessed and I wanted to wait until I had something else to tell you about. Well, on Wednesday I took the day off work, ostensibly to clean the house, actually to get some crafty things finished and phone up for Mark Ronson tickets.

Last thing first, I spent literally hours phoning the Roundhouse in Camden (amazing venue - its a converted railway turntable shed) and trying to get through to their booking line, and then once I had got through, I spent half an hour on hold, muttering through gritted teeth about what I would say to the booking lady if they had sold out. Fortunately, and remarkably for me, they hadn't sold out (guess everyone had trouble getting through) so in October husband and I will be bopping along to lots of rather funky cover versions. I'm just not going to look at the next phone bill!

Cleaning the house is better not mentioned. Small cat helped me clean the bathroom by sitting on the floor exactly where I wanted to stand and cleaning herself, but at least I'm not afraid to wash my face in the sink anymore.

Speaking of puss monsters, I had a rather large panic on Sunday, while husband was in Edinburgh on conference. All had been quiet on the cat front for a while, so I went to find big cat. He was fast asleep in the sun room, but with the distinguishing feature that his left front paw was twice the size of the right one - eeek! Now, I haven't had cats for a while, but even I know that this is not a good sign. He couldn't walk on it, and was a bit dozy (but this is not unusual). A frantic phone call to mother ensued, who advised soaking it in hot salty water and a swift trip to the vet, as she suspected it was a bite.

Of course, I do not drive, and was supposed to be at work on the Monday, and we had never quite got round to sorting out the pet insurance, so after spending some time getting very wet and salty, and being punched in the face by the good paw, I spent a troubled night waiting to see if the paw was better by the morning.

Fortunately, it was better, although obviously a bit tender, so I kept the mogs in all day (they were very affronted) and he seems right as rain now. Typical. We think he had dislocated or sprained his thumb by getting it caught in something (he does that a lot, and falls off things - sigh).

So here is the protagonist of this tale with a happy ending - he looks sweet as anything doesn't he?
And here is small cat, as she plots to take over the world (she gets jealous if we give big cat too much attention). Needless to say we may have to make some modifications to the bird table this year ...
Finally, crafty things ...

I've made a start on this year's Christmas pressies (yes, I know it is september). My first attempt was this advent calendar / bunting.
I'm thinking about doing a tutorial for this, as they are dead easy to make. But the next one won't have gold thread - the front looks pretty but the back is horribly horribly munted.

I'm going to make/persuade husband to make some little stamps out of wine corks, a la Craft Chi with Christmas themes to put in the pockets, with room for a chocolate or two should you be that way inclined. So far my tentative list includes (bearing in mind my drawing/carving skill level):

  • Christmas pudding
  • Angel
  • Christmas tree
  • Present
  • Glass of wine
  • Star
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Christmas bauble
  • Stocking
  • Penguin
  • Santa
  • Snowman
Any other ideas?

Saturday, 15 September 2007

computer's gone berserk

I've wanted to use the word 'berserk' in every day conversation for a while, but not particularly in this context. My computer is being awkward in every sense of the word, and while I can just about manage to surf, uploading photos is a definite no-no. Just now I am frantically trying to back up the 1000 photos husband has taken on his shiny new digital camera, while windows screams at me that it wants to go to bed.


So rest assured that I have a scatterday and a general crafty post lined up for tomorrow, when hopefully darling microsoft will have got its act together.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Secret pal parcel #1

All packed up and ready to go, this toddled off in the post on Tuesday. I hope my secret pal gets it - she is off in the wilds at the moment and emailed to say that something was waiting for her at home so fingers crossed (I'm showing remarkable faith and confidence in the Royal Mail to move a parcel from a post office in central london to an address less than 5 miles away aren't I?!)

Scatterday #3

Today's scattergories are brought to you by the letter R.

I nearly managed to fulfill all three categories with the same word, but was foiled at the final hurdle (more below).

So, for the Plant World I present my loverly Rhubarb in the autumnal sunshine (twice for some reason best known to picasa). Slow off the mark, this plant was nearly removed in favour of a larger raised bed, but in the end I relented and gave it one last chance. The result - last weekend we had home made rhubarb ice cream (yum indeed)!

The Childhood picture came to me in a flash of inspiration - my all time favourite in the days when children were allowed to eat sweets - Rhubarb and custards! I bought these in a fit of reminiscence, but can't eat them as I have two, yes 2 mouth ulcers! Can you believe it? I haven't had one since I swapped my toothpaste years ago and then 2 come along at once - tsk! Still, at least I won't be hyperactive!

Then there was the Arts - As I said, I almost managed to fulfill all three categories with the same thing, and if I had only been able to find a picture, the Arts category would have been filled by ...

Roobarb and Custard - a marvellously surrealist cartoon from the 1980s, narrated by Richard Briers.

However, I didn't want to borrow from elsewhere for this, and so instead I present my favourite piece of studio pottery, this gorgeous mermaid plate by Barbara Ross. Husband thought I was strange coming home from a charity shop with a plate with a naked lady on it, but she just called to me - I love the lilac and orange glazes on her tail and her face is beautifully painted.

Now then, Q .... hmmmm ... might have to get the dictionary out for that one.

International Scarf Exchange 5

Roll up, roll up for the 5th International Scarf Exchange. I (in my infinite wisdom and manic enthusiasm) have signed up to be a co-hostess on this exchange, and so I thoroughly encourage anyone reading this blog to sign up asap.

The basic idea is that you are allocated a swap partner, and knit, crochet or weave them a scarf. Someone else will return the favour for you. It is (as you might have guessed) an international swap, so you may find yourself swapping with someone on the other side of the world.

You have until September 19th, 2007 - 8:00pm central standard time (Canada) to complete the following questionnaire and email it to isehostesses @ gmail . com (eliminate the spaces) with Sign me up in the subject line. There are only 200 places, so you'd better be quick!

Head over to the ISE5 blog for more information


1. Name:
2. Email (for pal):
3. Email (for hostess):
4. Blog:
5. Mailing address:
6. Colours (like):
7. Colours (no like):
8. Fibres (like):
9. Fibres (no like):
10. Allergies:
11. Look [(like) ie: lace, geometric, colourful...]
12. Look [(no like) ie: asymmetrical, granny squares, too many different colours together...]
13. Length:
14. Holiday Celebrated:
15. Do you want a pal with a blog?
16. Anything you would like your pal to know about you that they can't find out from your blog?
17. Would you like to angel someone who doesn’t get their scarf?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Blog review #4

Time for another blog review methinks. I do have loads of crafty things to show you, but that requires me to be in the same place as the sun and my digital camera, which hasn't happened yet. Fingers crossed for this evening.

Anyway, this blog review is for the marvellous Brooklyn Tweed.

This is the blog that inspired me to see yarn colours differently. The amazing Hemlock Ring blanket, which is knit using a vintage doily pattern, but in heavyweight brown wool sounds nasty when you write it down, but has actually turned out divine. Jared, you are a miracle worker, producing gorgeous garments out of unassuming yarn. Oh, and he spins too, of course!

  • Reasons to visit this blog: To make you think beyond the temptations of all the funky trendy yarn out there and take things back to basics.

  • Things to see: Lots of different knitted items, all lovingly presented and photographs

  • Favourite post at the moment: It is still the BSJ, which inspired me to make my own and I've not looked back!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

chaussettes, calzini, socken, calcetines, носки

I'm off to buy sock yarn for my monkey sock swap pal tonight - hoorah! And as the site I will be buying it from has a £19 minimum for free postage, I will just have to buy myself something too!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Secret pal parcel #1 nearly on its way

Y'know, Ias excited about sending my first parcel to my secret pal as I will be receiving one. I hope it makes the grade.

I love putting present packages together - bits and bobs on a theme, that kind of thing. And of course, once I'd put it all in the box, there were gaps, so I made a couple of extra little somethings to fill in the space (no point mailing air after all!).

I've included quite a lot of secondhand/handmade/recycled pressies (although she does have some brand new yummy yarn and a couple of other things, of course) as I've been given a pal who lives near me and wanted to buy things that she couldn't get herself. Does this sound reasonable? It seemed like I was being a bit of a cheapskate at first, but $60 won't go very far in the UK knitting wise, and I didn't want to be stingy with the parcels. Am I worrying too much? Probably!

I didn't get a huge amount of information from my pal's blog, as there aren't many crafty posts, so I've assumed she is open to anything (heh heh heh!). Now all there is to do is to finish wrapping it up (often the most fun part) and rely on Royal Mail to do the rest (ha! she might get it in a month or so given their track record!)

Now, what can I put in the second box ... ???

Photos (not mine, but nearly)

Husband has gone digital (hoorah!) and has started uploading his rather marvellous nature photos into flickr.

Anyone wanting to give him a little encouragement (for which I will be eternally grateful) please have a look at his pages:

Beardy man (yes, that was the best we could do for an anonymous name)

and my input? Several hours spotting wildlife for him to take photos of ...

Sunday, 2 September 2007

While wandering in Welwyn

I came across this magazine in WHSmiths:

Its the magazine equivalent of Craftzine, whose blog I read avidly when trying to escape from knitting (it can be all consuming you know).

So now I have instructions for making a "bitchin' birdhouse", a pirate outfit for my pug dog (er, perhaps not), candles, a macrame curtain and umpteen other funky items. This should keep me busy for a while.

But £7.99? Smiths really, have you not heard about the dollar exchange rate? Give us UK crafters a break please!

Scatterday #2

Oops, I missed the deadline - not great for a second attempt.

The only excuse I have is that a remarkably cute miniature kitten made its way into our garden last night, so I spent considerable time removing our cats into the house (they wanted to beat it up, poor thing) and putting out a box and some food for the kitten. I felt so bad about not bringing it into the house, but we've only had our monsters for a few months and they are still a bit insecure as they are rescue cats. It really was the cutest cat I've met (barring our lovelies of course) - a brown and grey mottled long haired puss, with black and white short hair legs, and a b&w spotty nose. A true mongrel. No sign of it this morning though. Hopefully it has made its way home, as if it turns up again I might not be so strong willed.

Anyway, Scatterday ...

My colour is Gold, which for me means my wedding and engagement rings, being the only gold objects I own. They are really chunky, and now rather battered. There's a story behind that though ...
Vehicle was rather difficult, as I do not own a gig, nor play golf. But then, while flicking through an old photo album I came across something perfect. So here, for your amusement and my embarrassment, is a photo of me (on the right, some years ago I hasten to add) and my babysitter Lorraine with our rather fabulous GO-CART!

Finally, for a household object I present my favourite Gadget. When we got married my workmates gave me a voucher for an expensive cookery shop in York, and rather than buy sensible house things we decided to spend the lot on a single silly funky gadget. So this is my marvellous kitchen timer, made by Alessi and costing all of £35!
You may notice that as a fail-safe there is a grater in the background, but I think this Gadget is funky enough to count as a G object don't you?