Monthly Archives: July 2011

I am fatty-gued

and fat boy is no help ‘cos he’s in a rut!  Hey, before anyone puts fingers to keyboard to defend my husband they were B’s words not mine.  Apparently B’s in a rut with Bud as he hasn’t taken him out this last week.  I may, I repeat may, be feeling a soupcon tired due to overdoing it or it could be the aftermath of a migraine which may or may not be the result of overdoing it – or dark chocolate or, to quote a friend earlier atmospheric pressure!

When we were on holiday we walked Bud at least once a day and as it turned out I walked much further than I usually do at home and I felt better for it.  So last week I made a concerted effort to walk Bud twice a day with the first walk being nearly twice as long as our regular one.  And I also endeavoured to do spend an hour a day in the ‘garden’ – as in gardening not sitting! – this had mixed results.  Monday I spent 45 minutes and then had to stop and come in and take an extra painkiller.  I started off with a little weeding, resisting the urge to use the strimmer (weed whacker) so that I didn’t do myself a mischief, but as one thing led to another I ended up moving some wood and my back raised some serious objections.  So the other two hours I spent I did do less physical stuff.  By Friday morning when we went to the Royal a migraine was threatening and by teatime it had well and truly set in but by Saturday afternoon it was somewhat easier.

Mmmm, thinking about it, it could also have been brought on by subconscious stress at the thought of going back to the hospital.  I had thought on Thursday night ‘poo, we have to go to the hospital’ and thought it again whilst walking Bud on Friday morning.  I’m not normally bothered.  I knew I’d be alright when I got there, the staff are lovely despite some of them sticking sharp objects into veins, and usually I have no trouble looking beyond this to going out for lunch.  It was only for Zometa but I think it was possibly after two weeks away without even the prospect of getting poked with anything (minds out of the gutter I meant a needle).

Anyway I have managed to finish the baby blanket and knit a matching Myeloma Buddy and here they are…

It took 400g of white Sirdar Snuggly DK and 200g of red.  I used it double on size 5.5mm needles and crocheted the the little bobbles on the same size crochet hook.  And for those of you from across the pond (and I guess anyone else who wondered what the heck it was) I would like to point out that the red shape in the middle square of the top row is a rugby ball.  Say it with me rug-bee ball – it’s not a football – they are round!

You may have noticed one of the pictures is not knitting related but since it was red too I thought I’d throw it in.  The odd one out shows my tomato crop.  I’m not too sure what to do with it yet – grill it, use it in a salad, make a pasta sauce – the possibilities are endless! ;D

Sporty Ephipany


I went to Armchair Yoga on Tuesday and during the relaxation at the end I had an ephipany.  Now I have to admit that at some point shortly after relaxing hands/feet/calves, generally whatever the second body part is, I drift off, not necessarily to sleep, although that has happened, but off somewhere.  On Tuesday I drifted off to thoughts of what kind of baby blanket I could do for the new MALE family member and a huge light bulb of inspiration when off.

The new member’s mummy is an avid Saints fan (the local Rugby League team) – so much so she once went to a book signing by a popular (I think that also means attractive) member of the team and narrowly avoided having someone call the authorities in case she’d escaped from her carer – having been rendered completely incoherent just by being in the same room.

So this is the team home strip…

as modelled by er, urm, owwwww, I should know who that is and I don’t!  No-one tell my Auntie Ann!  Promise?  Okay then, back to the blanket.

Traditionally the red ‘V’ was much more pronounced – just so you know for when you see my interpretation…

I also have these little embellishments to add…

And this is my third and final strip of squares…

I’ve had to be very careful with the stripey squares as the local rival team play in cherry and white in the form of hoops so I couldn’t do the stripes too wide in case someone set fire to the blanket!

Other creative spaces can be found here.

Don’t fall till you get home

I received a phone call last evening informing me that the family had a new member.  Although I was extremely happy at this news and that mother and baby were both doing well despite one of them having about 3,000 stitches it buggered up my planned present!

I have been getting on with my Greenway blanket from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans and liking it a lot.

The ‘daisy-shaped’ blocks are just beguiling (there’s a word I never thought I’d used) and with the original having multi-coloured stripes rather than just the two I’d thought a blanket in pale baby colours would be great – so ‘daisy-shaped’ blocks in pastel colours – maybe not so good for a boy!

Anyway I suppose I should just thank my lucky stars that I’m in any condition to crochet/knit anything as on Sunday I fell.  And not just a quick slump to the ground but a wild and dramatic stumble that lasted about an hour before I ended up on my back staring up at B bending down over me looking slightly, okay I under exaggerate, he looked extremely horrified.

My left ankle kind of went over and then I must have over compensated to the right and I veered to the right of the path crossing in front of B and almost stopping half way across as I received a note from my collapsed L3 vertebra that it really didn’t like what I was asking it to do and then I was on the ground.  Well okay I managed to think in-between the vertebra message and landing ‘Oh dear!’. Really, that was all – although I can at times turn the air blue at others for some reason I say ‘gosh’ or ‘blimey’ or, as the case in point, ‘Oh dear’.

So there I was on the ground on the weedy/grassy edge of the track in complete and utter surprise – the surprise stemming not so much from the fall as from the lack of pain – any sort of pain – other than a teeny, tiny bit of grazing to my palm from an equally teeny, tiny splinter.  At the realisation that I’d not broken, bruised or sprained anything I started to laugh.  B reached down and lifted up my sunglasses to check whether it was a laugh or a cry – popped then back down and after giving me a minute helped me to my feet.  After me declining the offer to go back home (we hadn’t even got that far) we carried on, me with a feeling of almost euphoria and B being the one who probably needed to go home for a stiff drink.

Knitting needle crazy

After leaving our cabin on Saturday morning we took Bud for a walk then set off to sort out some needles to enable me to knit on the way home.  Here’s what I got (well of course I got eight but two are in the car somewhere)…

Here’s how WE got them…

We went to a charity shop where I was informed they can’t sell them as they are an offensive weapon.  They use to keep them to one side and take a donation (I knew this since I got a pair that very way last year) but the manager had caught them and they had to throw them away!

We then tried a general shop at B’s suggestion who referred us to

The hairdressers – who had needles but not double ended ones

So we got in the car to and B suggested we stop at a village 15 miles away even though I was 95% sure they didn’t have a wool shop.  I broke at 12 miles and cast on for a Myeloma Buddy but with the yarn being 4ply it seemed so tiny that B said we’d stop anyway.

We parked up, popped Bud on his lead and all went for a walk down the main street where I tried…

A shop that sold touristy type stuff which had an odd owner (I am not just basing this on their lack of knitting accessories but that the last time we called in he was complaining to a local about customers!) , he said I wouldn’t get any but I could always ask the girls as the grocers

They said ‘Try The Trading Post’ – a hardware store at the end of the row that sold just about everything – except knitting needles but the lovely owner suggested a secondhand place we could get to by turning left at the previous traffic lights and going behind the hotel to a large green warehouse called The Shed.  The owner then fussed Bud and stated that our Staffie was hazardous to people in that he could lick them to death.

So we all traipsed back up the main street, round the corner and tucked in behind the hotel was this large green warehouse that was full of all sorts and indeed did have double pointed needles.

However, the lady who knew where the needles were was on the phone and so we waited and waited and when B was just shy of having steam coming out of his ears she finished up and I got my needles.  The co-owner was also a knitter and described some gorgeous needles she’d found that were tortoise shell effect with silver ends – I managed not to drool openly.

So two hours after starting our needle search I jotted down some pattern details off the laptop and cast on for a pair of trainer socks for a friend and then I nodded off, and then I knit, and then I nodded off (I had been awake since 5:40), and then I knit, and then we stopped for a wee (or rather three), and then I knit and nodded and then I looked at the sock good and proper and I thought – ‘That’s awful’

I mean look at the quality of those stitches at the heel – I hang my head in shame…

So I pulled the stitches off the needles and knit a Bamboo Buddy!  I have since confessed this to B – just in case!

The yarn is Wendy happy in Milky Way and is 75% bamboo and 25% nylon and is apparently one of those yarns that’s ideal for socks as it does the whole keeping your feet warm and keeping your feet cool thing.  I of course wouldn’t know this, what I do know however is that it is soft, smooth and just lovely even when it’s not a sock.

Oh, and when B arrived in the bedroom this morning he said ‘Are you alright?’, ‘Mmmm’ I answered – the power of speech eludes me when I first wake up.  B however is quite use to this by now and somehow interprets correctly most of the time, in this case ‘Yes.’

B: ‘Only your looks funny.’

Me:  ‘How?’ – slightly more awake.

B:  ‘It’s like the phantom of the opera. ‘  I swear it’s times like these I have to remember that at least I know when he pays me a compliment its sincere.

When I got up 10 minutes later – apart from being craft-less on a long trip I am otherwise quite hard to panic so didn’t spring out of bed straight away – it looked mostly like it usually does.  However I do have a ‘bite’ on my forehead near my hairline – well hopefully it’s a bite since this is exactly where my first lot of shingles started and we thought that was a bite too and my face was swollen in a morning then too! I’m keeping an eye on it.

Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

You know that saying about remaining calm when all around you are panicking well now’s the time to panic.  I potentially have nothing to do for the seven plus hours on the way home.  I finished my cardigan and now this is all I have left of the yarn for the crochet blanket…

the issue being I need just as much pink as cream.  (Okay when I was taking the picture of my artily arranged remaining yarn I thought it may look like a flower or spaghetti with a tiny bit of Bolognese and now, before anyone else says it, I realise it looks like a booby – but not of the bird variety. )

Anyhoo how on earth am I going to manage on the way home.  B has suggested I read but that cuts out my other essential occupation of travelling for many hours in the car – admiring the passing scenery.

Deep breaths – I have one last hope – I bought a very nice ball of 4 ply yarn from a very nice shop in Nairn – I have spent some time scouring the internet for free sock patterns (ie, available immediately) and I can only keep everything crossed that the one nearby charity shop has some double ended needles available.  So obviously we’ll be checking that out as a matter of priority as soon as they open.

Meanwhile in less panicky (indeed soothing) matters I tried some lavender shortbread yesterday afternoon…

It was heart shaped, a bit pricey for one biscuit, but made on the Isle of Skye and I’ve wanted to try a foodstuff with lavender in for some time now (it’s on the antiangiogenic food list) AND I love shortbread – so what a treat, right?  Well yes it was, Bud loved it!  I however will need to buy plain shortbread ASAP to realign my taste buds.  Fortunately there’s a Walkers shortbread shop just further up from the charity shop – I may need the shortbread for the lonnnnnggggg trip home.

Driving Miss Paula

‘Okay Bud, I’ll show you how to drive and then we don’t  need to let Paula near the wheel again.’

‘So you got all that about where everything is?’

‘Yeah, but I can’t get the hang of this changing gear malarkey…

let’s try this…

or this, narghhhh!’

‘Phew, I need a kip.’

‘All that effort and now I’m stuck in roadworks!’

Holiday Crochet

My second item of holiday craftiness is a crochet blanket.  Much as I’d like to show a vision of craftiness in a forest setting surrounded by whatever woodland creatures were brave enough to venture close enough with Bud around (so that would be slugs) it’s now too big to tote anywhere other than settee to car and back.  Here’s a little taster of it…

And here’s my holiday reading…

It features Stephen Fry, half of the reason I can’t envisage, even in a dark room, Hugh Laurie being considered a sex symbol/hunk.  ‘What makes me think anyone would consider Hugh sexy?’ I hear you ask – well it’s that time of year over at Kim’s blog – Knitters’ Hunk.  So if you fancy a bit of fun nominating three hunks or just voting on other people’s ideas of heartthrob pop on over there.  I’m still one short in my nominees and bearing in mind Hugh’s popularity I’m seriously toying with the idea of British beefcake Ricky Gervais!  {cough, splutter}  Moving swiftly on.

In Last Chance To See Mark Carwardine undertakes an updated trip to see really endangered species with Stephen Fry, a mutual friend of his and the participant of the original trip, the late Douglas Adams.  Zoologist Mark narrates with a sense of humour I find really enjoyable.  The book is also of a size that comes in really handy when the view into the holiday accommodation from a window adjoining the outside path is this…

and your small furry family isn’t afraid of bursting open doors to check you’re doing okay!

Other creative spaces are here!

Holiday Wardrobe

Ahh, the old ones are the best ones!  Prior to going on holiday I went clothes shopping with a friend predominantly in Primark – a shop, a little like TK Maxx, where you need to be in the right mindset for shopping and not have your husband in tow.  As we’d only managed to get the first week’s accommodation a week before we arrived I hadn’t bought anything – perhaps in the hope that cutting out one biscuit a day would result in being a size 12 before I had to try anything on!

So here is my real holiday wardrobe…





Handmade dress (the one started for last year’s holiday) and 3/4 sleeve cardigan (£6.00).




Five pairs of pink socks in varying stripes (£2.50)


White linen pants – half lined (£15.00), hand knitted cardigan (Peony) from last week which now has flowers attached but no buttons – not too sure I like it, well I like it but I don’t think it’s me.  T-shirt Nicole Fahri from TK Maxx (£7.00 should have been £35.00).  And erm, what’s that round Bud’s neck?

In case you’re wondering how come we have not one, not two, but three pictures of me in the same post, it rained yesterday so Buddy got a five kilometre walk and then after drying off while eating our butties in the car, we came back and B had that much time on his hands (five minutes as opposed to 30 seconds) I got at least 15 pictures to chose from (as opposed to his usual point and click ‘Yes that looks like you.’ ‘But is it okay?’ ‘You can tell it’s you.’ photography style). Plus we have better mobile broadband connection where we are now than the landline connection at home!

Linen casual pants (£9.00), 3/4 sleeve cardigan (£6.00), same T-shirt.

Same trousers getting dried earlier in the afternoon because, did I mention, it was wet.  If we’d not had Bud it was go shopping and then the cinema weather now it’s take Bud during a dry bit and doh, it’s raining again before we’ve finished weather.

Yes I sat in the car in a woodland car park in my knickers (fortunately I had a spare cardy to hand) while I ate my butties – and if you look closely at the previous photo you’ll see I was correct when I exclaimed ‘Oh, look me knickers match me cardy.’

I also got two bras for £6.00, 12 pairs of knickers for £7.80 and after a couple of bargains in the 30sfp sunscreen department Chris ended up insisting on carrying my bag while I carried her one pair of trousers!  Another myeloma perk?!

And as to what Bud is wearing above, well here’s the rest of it…

maybe that’s why it was half price at £2.00 – the floppy brim really flopped!

Do you like the car Bud?

On shorter trips, trips on windy roads and ones with lots of stopping, starting, slowing down Bud can be a bit unsettled and his position of choice is generally with his head stuck between the seats protesting profusely – presumably in case either of us makes a run for it without him.  He will settle down on long stretches of dual carriageway or motorway and is quite happy to flop down on his side when travelling at 70 mph bracing himself against the back of the seat with his paws.  I don’t have a picture of this as I didn’t want to disturb him and re-start the whinging.  Fortunately Bud was very good on the way up but now gets car sick – as in he’s sick of getting in the car.

I threw in one to show that inbetween traumatic car trips he is able to chill out.

Holiday knitting

Now I’m not saying that B has been hogging the laptop and dongle* this week but I’ve managed to knit, in 4 ply and size 9 (3 ¾ mm) needles this…


It’s not quite finished I have 12 more roses to make that go round the neck and it needs pressing.  Okay we are on holiday and it did take us seven hours to get here so allowing for lunch and comfort breaks (I love that expression, it’s so apt, because let’s be honest if you NEED to go, you’re not comfy) I nearly got the back done on the way but B provided lots of the other knitting time.  It’s Peony by Marie Wallin from a Rowan Knitting magazine in the Araucania Ranco Multy yarn I bought last year.  The pattern called for 600g of Rowan Damask and 50g of Kidsilk Haze but so far in the Ranco it’s taken less than 300g.

B was spending so much time on the laptop (fair enough with dodgy reception it was taking longer than to load a page than the dial up connection we had nearly 20 years ago) I’d worked myself up to quite a sulk by Wednesday afternoon but by 15:00 when we got to the beach in Nairn I felt quite (read that as ‘very’) travel sick – I knew I wasn’t feeling good because I’d lost all interest in soothing Bud who was protesting loudly from the back seat that he wasn’t happy – and so didn’t have the enthusiasm to keep it up.  Sulking takes a lot of energy. 

Anyhoo, Bud loved the beach and it’s horizontal tree…


And we now have someplace to stay next week.

*I decided it would be wise to invest in a new dongle for our holiday so B could smurf for pawn no, I mean accommodation for next week, and thought it might come in handy for any more surprise holidays on my part.  The trip out to get one and the need to follow B’s strict parking instructions resulted in the previous post. 

Opps – I thought I’d published this on Thursday – looks like I have more internet issues than I thought.