Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Re-arranging My Corner And Early Domesticity

Mary-Jane's sticky little finger are getting everywhere.  I have been thinking for a week or two to re-arrange my corner as she likes to open the bottom wooden draw and take things out of it.  And leave things of her in there, such as her books.  The final straw came today when she took out four of the small plastic boxes, had them on the sofa, and opened one which was full of buttons.  I didn't mind so much all the buttons being on the sofa and floor, it was the one in her mouth.  It was soon scooped out with minimal fuss.  I have no qualms about removing foreign objects from mouths or other parts of the body.  Working with for many years with women who seriously self harm has given me much experience in this field.

All the magazines from the top shelf are now in the attic.  The set of plastic boxes is now on the top shelf.  I have not yet finished arranging and re-arranging.

 Here is Mary-Jane posing for the camera, with her new Dyson vacuum cleaner.  She likes to push it along.  Apparantly it does have a small amount of suction on it, so it it functional as well!
 The coloured bits on the front, which would normally be where the dust and dirt is collected, also move if you press a different button.  MJ likes them to be moving around.
 Here is the girl herself in action, doing a good job of hoovering the rug!  Start 'em young!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday Musings

Monday Musings - for the first time here...... I shall try and link up with others for this.... here goes

Right Now - I am tired and ready for bed.  I have watched two hours of TV - Whitechapel and Birdsong - and continued with my Toddler Surprise Jacket TSJ

This Weekend - Mary-Jane has been full of cold, worse Sunday than Saturday.  I went food shopping Saturday, into Whitehaven.  In the evening I have been in my usual routine of a couple hours of TV and knitting.  On Sunday I made a Bread Pudding and a Stilton and Mushroom Quiche

Some Plans For The Week - Skipping Playgroup, till MJ gets over her cold.  Sugarcraft class Tuesday evening; visiting new knitting friend DP on Thursday afternoon

If I find some time for myself I'd like to - try and finish the TSJ, do a gauge for a Surprise Jacket for myself; re-arrange the shelves in my corner of the room and make the corner more Mary-Jane proof

I am grateful for - HK and MJ

Some Thoughtful Intentions for the week - for my Cousin E who lost her Mother just over a week ago

Something that makes me smile - Mary-Jane, all the new words she is coming out with and how she applies them.  'Bot bot' and 'Bum' were some of her new favourite words today.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Cold, A Quiche And A Questionable Afternoon Out

Mary-Jane has quite a chesty cold.  She actually entertained the idea of an afternoon nap.  She went down quietly but after about 40 minutes awoke, and cried and cried.  I think she was enjoying her sleep and woke up too soon.  When I put her to bed this evening, she did not make a peek, and I have only heard one or two murmers since.  She hasn't even woke up for her 7 o'clock cuddles.  In truth, I have missed the cuddles.  I hope she has a good nights rest.  HK's back is still bothering him, he says it's very stiff.  I can see my plans of going out and meeting knitty friends tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours being postponed.

Despite all this, I have managed to spend some time in the kitchen.  This morning I made a Bread Pudding with Hot Cross Buns, with a few extra currants, cinnamon and allspice.  Very tasty.  I bet it will be all gone by this time tomorrow.  Bread Pudding does not last long in this house at all! It's not far off half gone now and it's a big piece.  I made it in the largest enamel tin I have.  I used 2 dozen Hot Cross Buns.  This afternoon I bobbed in and out of the kitchen and made a stilton and mushroom quiche, which we had for tea.  Again, tasty!  And that is tomorrows tea nearly all taken care of, even better!  I can feel some cake baking coming on.  I haven't done any since before Christmas, as I wanted to finish off the Christmas Cake and other goodies.  The cake is nearly all gone, the goodies are not, despite valiant attempts some evenings!

I am now on the next step of the TSJ.  I am cruising towards the centre front.  There are stitches to be picked up looking ahead.

If I do get out tomorrow (I'm not holding my breath) I shall take my camera.  The final part of my instructions of getting to M's house is that if I get as far as Nether Wasdale then I have gone too far.  A little excitement.  Driving an unknown but no doubt beautiful road, having to go slow and watch for where I am going.  If not tomorrow, then another day.  I wish diesel wasn't so blooming expensive (£1.40 a litre, if not more), then I could go exploring this land more.  At this point I could very easily go off moaning, but I won't.  I don't want to pull myself down by spelling out to myself the not so pleasant side of life.  For that will blinker me to the positive things.

I'm going to have a go at 'Monday Musings' tomorrow, more then!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To Ann-in-America x  See you soon!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Acquired - Old Toyota Knitting Machine

I was lucky enough to procure an old Toyota Knitting Machine, with Lace carriage, from a lady on Freecycle.  I collected it this morning, luckily again, from only about two miles away!  The lady couldn't lay her hands on the instructions or the punchcards, but assured me that when she finds them, she will be in touch.  So many memories came flooding back when she was talking me through the workings of it.  I had my first machine, a Knitmaster 700 (or was it 800?) as an 18th Birthday Present from Dad.  I used it for a good few years.  Then sporadically, then not at all, then the machine and I parted company when I was having a serious and ruthless de-clutter.  I did have regrets at parting with it, but at that time I had to be very ruthless.  When I was 18 I was doing my BTEC OND in Fashion at Chesterfield College of Technology & Arts.  I made tentative steps, with support, of setting up my own knitwear business.  I was 19, and I guess didn't have the drive or determination to enter into business.  Somewhere, locked up in my head, is the knowledge and competancy to get to grips with a knitting machine again.  On the other hand, unused knowledge keeps no better than dead fish.  I love that saying.  I will have a search on t'internet for instructions and take time to refresh my memory.

The TSJ continues.  I am nine rows off the next stage of the shaping.  I'll not get that done tonight.  The increase shaping is not clearly seen below, but is happening where the markers are.  The decreasing is on the back of the sleeves, giving it it's particular shaping.  The only difference between this and the BSJ so far is - on the BSJ there is extra increasing near the end of the sleeves, about eight rows in or there abouts.  I'm still eager with this project.

HK slipped and fell in the garden yesterday.  He twisted as he fell and his back landed on a big stone.  He has been very stiff today and says the pain is going down his bum cheeks and legs.  When his back problems happen in this area of him, it can take a few weeks to start to right itself.  Fingers crossed it won't.  He didn't even want to come food shopping with Mary-Jane and I this afternoon as he thought that it would be too uncomfortable for him to walk that far.  I hope he is on the mend come morning.

I have started reading 'Knitting Without Tears' and am enjoying it.  The woman - EZ - talks sense, and common sense at that!

Friday, 27 January 2012

EZ Pi Shawls and Asthma

I have continued to give  thoughts of EZ and her Pi Shawls light of day.  I have been talking to an online knitty friend (okay I have met her once and plan to meet again), and she nudged my thoughts of unventing shawls in the right direction.  In the direction I would have taken if I stopped to think clearly instead of racing in, and struggling, which is what I normally do.  I looked around at what had already been done.  I found lots of patterns for the most beautiful and delicate shawls.  All on trusty Ravelry.  I even happened upon six that were designed in memory of her 100th Birthday.  They are all now nestling in my ever growing queue on Rav, hoping that one day, just one day I shall make them.  I may, one day.  I will try one of the two from July in the Almanac.  Unless of course I change my mind between now and then.

I'm continuing with the TSJ.  The construction is only very slightly different from the BSJ.  I read the next section of the pattern, because I needed to.  I felt confident and carried on reading it - 'translating' it.  It seemed much clearer than the other night.  I didn't run to the end of the pattern, I quit whilst I was ahead.  Thus leaving me with confidence that when I read the remainder of the pattern, hey presto! it will all fit into place. 

A night or two I mentioned, in passing, about a job opportunity that is on the horizon.  It is a Bank Nurse position in a prison.  When I read it, I was very, very excited.  Not just that there was a lifeline to work again, but that by working it would bring in money, and the knock on effect of that would be, amongst other things, to get our own place again.  The excitement has flipped on it's head and I am having a real good think through of it.  At the moment, I'm more against the idea.  Do I really want to work in that environment again, even though I am most comfortable there?  Do I want a gentler life, that takes me in a different direction?  I carry many mental scars of working within Forensic Psychiatry and a few from prisons.  Every time I have problems with my asthma now, I think of how,  smoke inhalation has made it worse.  It is much better than it has been, granted.  I was informed by a doctor that my lungs would take around two years to heal from that one incident.  It's been three years now, hence asthma has improved.  I hope the Letter of Commendation from the Governor to be the only lasting physical reminder of that day!

So, I'm still in two minds as to whether to apply or not.  A lot of things need to be weighed up.  I always used to say, that if a decision took that much thinking about and mulling over, then the decision had already been made.

If in doubt, carry on Knitting! Well, that's about answered that question for now, hasn't it?!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

All Hail Elizabeth Zimmerman!

My Elizabeth Zimmerman books arrived today.  I am converted.  I had a quick flick through Knitting without tears and a better look at the Almanac.  I love her wit and humour, I quite 'get' it and understand where she is coming from.  The anticipated mist of 'what is she on about?' has not descended.  I am itching to read properly and cast on.  The July Shawls have caught my eye.  No surpirse there!  I read a few paged on the Theory of Pi when making shawls.  I understand this.  I can see massive potential in making or designing shawls applying this theory.  There may be a few gaps in the designing of lace for me at the moment.  But what a challenge.  And it isn't insurmountable.  I'll let it rumble around my head for a while, till the time is right.

I have carried on with the TSJ, the rows are getting pleasantly shorter.  I have a feeling that this will be how short the rows actually get.  That doesn't daunt me.  I am excited in seeing the construction of the garment and how the change, in gauge or required size, effects it.  I have all these wonderful ideas of what I want to make, and nowhere near the time to knit (and ocassionally crochet) them.  Let alone think about designing things.  It will happen though!

I was going to leave you with an EZ quote (and there will be plenty of them coming!).  I picked up the Almanac, opened the pages where I had been reading, and I want to quote many lines.  I shall give you just a short one to begin with:  'Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis'.

Ethel Roberts RIP

Ethel Roberts - My Great Aunt - sadly passed away a week before her 91st Birthday.  She died peacefully, asleep in her rocking chair.  Happy Birthday for today.  I hope there will be plenty of Cups of Tea and Slices of Cake where you have gone to xxxxx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Short and Sweet (again)

Another rainy, blowy day in Cumbria.

I have been working on TSJ - Toddler Surprise Jacket - this evening.  It is Comfort Knitting.  So far anyway.  I'm 15 rows into the first set of decreases.  So the rows are getting pleasantly shorter.  I'm sure I should be able to lick this pattern without too much problem.  Not pictures as yet, not a lot to show really!

On the Employment front - something has come up on the horizon - for me.  More about this tomorrow or in a day or two when I have properly thought it through.

I'm afraid my words aren't flowing tonight, so I'll see you tomorrow x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

First Time Pastillage & Roses

In tonights sugarcraft class, we made pastillage cards.  I used pre-mixed pastillage powder.  I think it is straightforward enough if you want to mix your own up.  You put 3/4 pack in a bowl, add 25ml cooled boiled water and mix.  When formed into a dough, add the rest of the powder, mix and knead.  I needed to add a little frop more water, perhaps no more than 5ml (I didn't measure this amount).  Once kneaded, put in an air tight bag and let it rest for half an hour.  Pastillage dries very quickly.  The oval is the base, and the arch with the cut out oval, is of course, the front.  I think I may have transferrred it onto the drying board in not the best way, as it doesn't look quite as linear on the outside shape as it should be.

They should take 24 - 48 hours to dry.  After about 24 hours, or a bit less, they should be turned, so the other side should dry evenly.  I put the tiniest amount of caramel colour in the paste to make it an off white colour.

I have some of the paste left.  I am tempted to try and make a box out of it, or a small container.  I shall see how time goes tomorrow evening or the evening after.

 In between pastillage-ing, I continued with my roses.  I didn't get far as I had dye some more flower paste.  It is a slightly lighter shade of pink, but I'm not going to worry, it will be a near a match as possible.  Out of the nine roses, two will have two petals, four will have 2+3 and three will have 2+3+5.  The + indicates that you put two petals on, let them dry then put three on, let them dry etc.  This really confused me, till the penny dropped.  I think I will be doing some sugarcraft this week! 
Nine small roses will be required for the card and the nine larger ones will be for the Spring Flowers Bouquet.  There will also be some small white flowers in the card.  Thes are made freehand, not using cutters.

There was good banter up our end of the table.  The class is laid out in a horse shoe shape.  I sit just before the curved bit and it it this end that is full of chatter.  It's good fun.  The lady who sits next to me has lent me lots of sugarcraft books last week.  I am slowly working my way through looking at them. I have confirmed that I will go to the Cake Decorating Class on 11th March.  For this we need an 8" sponge cake.  I'm looking forward to that.  I could quite get into this cake decorating malarky.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Pre-occupied With Elizabeth Zimmerman

Following on from finding my Elizabeth Zimmerman BSJ pattern pack (I call it a pack as there are several pages in it), it has not been far from my mind.  Yes the knitty part of my head has been pre-occupied with it.  I put the biggest BSJ on Mary-Jane, to try it for fit, it was too small.  I had a dig around in the chest of drawers in our room for some suitable yarn.  I knew there was a few different balls of yarn that I had bought to do Mary-Jane things with last spring.  I selected a mid spring green colour in double knit.  Next I had to bite the bullet and crack on with it.  Step up to The Challenge.

I did a tension square (yes me, doing a tension square, how about that.  I have learned by previous experience.  Plus it is more than quintessential to do a tension square for this pattern).  I got the measurements, the main one you need is stitches rather than rows, at the moment anyway.  Then follows some sums to get the figure of what EZ calls [K].  I got this then read the pattern through substituting my figure for [K].  By about half way, I had lost the plot.  I am very familiar with the BSJ, I have made quite a few and the pattern is like an old friend.  I am hoping that the construction is the same or very similar, then I will be laughing.  Watch this space.  I am encouraging myself to have some faith in myself and my abilities.  Not Blind Faith totally, because BSJ is familiar to me.  I have now done the first three rows.

I would like to do a jacket for myself.  I have some yarn in mind.  Oh yes - that is one stash busting project underway and another loosely planned!

Mary-Jane is having a much more settled evening than last night, thankfully.  All I can think of for last night was that she may have had tummy upset.  She only did a small doo-doo yesterday, but when I changed her this morning when she got up, by gum, there wasn't any space in there at all.  She has been tired today.  She had a good run around the house this afternoon.  I took her out this morning with Mum to go to Lidl and get some sock yarn and some 4ply cotton yarn.  I know, I know, I'm on a big stash busting kick, but a little new stuff now and then doesn't go amiss.

Which leads me sort of full circle.  Whilst my knitty head was full of EZ, I decided to look on Amazon for some of her books.  Ideally I would like 'The Opinionated Knitter'.  That was a little pricey for me.  There was 'The Knitters Almanac' and 'Knitting Without Tears', which could be delivered to my grubby little hands for the princely sum of £11.33.  Too much temptation.  They are on their way to me.  I will have to forego my modular knitting class on Saturday because of this (and HK needing some new trousers).  Never mind.  I've wanted these books more.  Beans on toast and creative cookery for the next week or two!  Saying that I picked up four tins of Branstons Baked Beans in Lidl today for 99p...... I'm waffling now, time for bed! N'Night!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Skew And The Screaming Ab-Dabs

Mary-Jane is having a very unsettled evening, the worst she's had.  She has finished with the screaming ab-dabs, but it is five to eleven and she is still awake and mooching around on her bed.  I thought this afternoon her cold seemed to be breaking as she didn't seem to be as snuffly and her nose wasn't running as much.  I just want her to rest now.

Earlier in the evening, I found my Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket pattern.  In the pack is also the pattern for the adult surprise jacket - and the magic formula to make the jacket any size and any weight.  I was happy with this find.  I've been wanting to get my hands on this for a short while.  The fomula is straight forward.  I have made at least four EZBSJ's and want to make some more for Mary-Jane.  It even crossed my head to make on for me.  What did not cross my head, despite prompting, was what to make it with.  But I've got the pattern.  I was itching to start a jacket, but a tension square is the absolute quintessential key to this, and I'd not quite decided what yarn to make it in.  I also wasn't in the mood to do a tension square, don't ask me why.  Sensibility won over and I made a start on the second side of the olympic cushion.  Haven't got far though. 11 rounds.

I had a look at the Skew sock pattern.  I put myself off from casting that on as I couldn't get my head around the increases.  However, once I'd got started on the cushion, I tried to work it out.  I think it's starting to sink in.  If it's the increase that forms part of the skew, then I think I can undertand it.  I think I was just not in the mood to venture into new territory this evening.  Which has turned out okay with Mary-Jane being so unsettled.  I will re-instate Skew back at the top of my list of things I want to do next.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

One Side Of Olympic Cusion Completed

I have completed one side of my olympic cushion.  It will need blocking to within an inch of its life.  If it is measured from the middle of the side to the opposite side it is 16".  Along the actual sides it s a little less, hence the required blocking.  I still like the colours.  I'm lookimng forward to doing the other half, I know it won't take long either. 

After that I want to finish Sereknitty.  After that, it's a toss up between something for Mary-Jane or the Skew Socks. As long as I don't get distracted by anything else, these things happen!

Mary-Jane has a cold at the moment.  Poor little mite.  She is struggling with herself.  She does her best to be good, then gets really tired and cranky, but just won't let herself have a nap.  She contents herself with sitting on either mine or HK's knee, having big cuddles, sucking her fingers and holding onto Mr Snuggles.  She hasn't lost her appetite and loves taking calpol.  She has been a bit windy, and looks in the direction of her bum at these times, then looks at us and says 'bop'! 

MJ spent a good part of the afternoon, walking about the house, visiting Grandma & Grandad in their respective rooms.  After her tea, she was lying on the floor.  I asked her if she wanted to go to bed.  She got up, went over to Daddy HK, put her arms up for a pick up and said 'bed'.  Her bed time routine starts with saying night night to Daddy HK and having cuddles.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Little Knitting And Lot's Of Nattering

I went to Fobbles' Sit and Stitch this morning.  I didn't get much done, lots of talking though!    I had packed my knitting bag last night before I went to bed.  I took Sereknitty and the olympic cushion.  I wanted to make some progress on the latter.  It was only when I had got there, sat down with a cuppa in front of me when it dawned on me that I had left my trusty notepad at the house, so I wasn't sure where I was in regard to the increases on Sereknitty.  The yarn is so that it is difficult to tell when looking at it.  With the cushion I was about ready to transfer from DPN's to circulars.  I had forgotten my circulars. Hhmph.  I thought I'd continue with Sereknitty as I could do a good guess as to where I was.

This evening I have continued with the cushion.  I feel that I should be further ahead than what I am.  My brain-clock doesn't always allow for frogging and such things.  I feel that I should be about finished it.  Daft really.  Now I'm not far off ready to transfer on to a larger cable.  Stitchcount - wise, I'm about halfway there.  We all know in reality, that the rows are getting longer, hence will take longer to do.  I'm enjoying it though, despite wanting to get it completed.

Budding Pianist!

Mum has put her electric piano/keyboard up in her front room.  Neither she nor Dad play.  Mary-Jane, however, certainly seems to be taking to it!

Watch this space for a budding Music Maestro!  Better brush up on my piano playing as well.......

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Natural Colours - Sunset And Sheep

This evening we were given a lovely sunset.  I wasn't sure if my camera would pick it all up.  I was going to take the big camera, but much time has elapsed since I used it and time was a little agianst me.  Whilst Mary-Jane was having her tea with HK, I slipped outside.  It is such things as this, that I use to help pull me round and try to forget about things that could bring me down. 

Kinda beautiful, isn't it?  The photo's are taken from the back of the house.

I have re-cast on my olympic cushion.  I have decided to start from the middle of the cushion, doing a stripey square, using DPN's then going on to circulars when the time is right.  The colours of the yarn are still very pleasing to me.  They are all natural colours.  How well Mother Nature matches the colours of the fleeces of different breeds of British Sheep!  Photo tomorrow.

Job Seeking Appointment

HK had a Job-Seeking appointment today in Workington. He had to go as he has been unemployed for a year, since we moved here.  The company are supposed to aid him to find work and perhaps give him additional skills and qualifacations to gain employment.  I have very little faith in this, especially round here.  It took several phone calls to get the actual directions to the place.  Up till today, all we were given were 'it's between the bus station and the railway station, ring us when you get there'.  There is a good mile between both these points, and they are not on the same road. This morning we got directions, lots of left and rights and the name of the street the place was on, and the colour of the building.  On the way into Workington, the road was closed by the police, so we had to go a different way.  Any directions we had were null and void. We drove and drove around the back streets and eventually fell on the place.  It was residential from the outside and had a private property sign on the small driveway.  As we went past, very slowly, quite a few of the downstairs windows on another side of the building had no smoking signs, which to me didn't mean a total residential property.  Then HK saw a small, 8" sign with the name of the place.  We had found it, and it was a green building.  HK was 20 minutes late.

The people didn't seem to mind, after explanation was given.  Someone had been in earlier and said that the road had been blocked.  HK was in there for about 10-15 minutes.  They had told him this morning that the appointment would be about half an hour.  All they did was confirm the details that the local job centre had given them, (name, address etc).  Oh by the way, the local job centre had set up a special appointment to gain this information in the first place.  Then HK was free to go.  His next appointment will be in Whitehaven, at the beginning of February.  They didn't even explain how they would help him.  They just wanted to confirm that the details he had given the local office were correct.

HK wasn't re-imbursed any travel expenses, as told to us by the local office, for the 40 mile round trip. And why?  Because I drove the bloody car and thus it was deemed that he had a lift and this did not qualify for re-imbursement.  If he had driven, then ker-ching, re-imbursement.  I was livid.  The journey altogether was pretty fruitless.  It could have been done over the phone.  Nothing had been gained from the day.  40 miles might not be much, but it is about what I budget for a weeks car fuel.

As HK and I reminded ourselves, there is nothing to be gained from being mad about it or upset.  It just stinks.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Frogging Cushions And A New Playgroup

Last night, just before going up to bed, I decided in my infinite wisdom to measure my olympic cushion.  It measured nearly 18", it's supposed to be 16".  Too big for jiggery pokery.  It has to be frogged.  Decision made.  I then sat and worked out stitches and rows to what size I wanted.  Maths seemed to be flowing.  I was then faced with the calculation, that when I ran out of stitches, it wouldn't be a square at the end.  I ummed and ahhed and thought that this wouldn't quite look how I wanted it to look.

I decided to do the square from the centre outwards, starting on DPN's.  Thus, I could knit to the correct size.  In theory.  I also am starting to have nagging doubts to the validity of this.

Then on the way back from Sugarcraft, I started to have a bit of joined up thinking.  If I could do a square from the inside, why oh why could I not just do a reverse mitred square, starting with the smallest amount of stitches and increasing instead of decreasing?  Simples.  And it took me how long to think of this?!

My day has gone something along these lines:

Get Mary-Jane up, bathed, dressed, fed and watered and out the house by 9.30 to get to the new play group.  Achieved.  We went to the playgroup.  I was very proud of Mary-Jane.  She was a little wary of the other children at first, but mingled and played.  She doesn't seem to like alot of noise either, but adapts much better than me.  There were 14 children altogether.  Enough to start to upset my karma.  We were made to feel very welcome.

We got home for about a quarter to 12.  I hastily put Mary-Jane's dinner on.  We, including HK, were out of the house for around one, to go and see the Health Visitor.  Mary-Jane's skin tends to be a little dry, despite daily creams.  She scratches on her back, to the point where she breaks the skin and makes it sore.  It must be terrible for her.  She also has had a nappy rash for about 6 weeks.  This normally clears up within a few days, but this time it hasn't.  It turns out she has a bit of a fungal infection in it, so clotrimazole and diprobase ointment for that.  For her back and the rest of the affected areas - eumavate and diprobase.  I know this combination works for her.  When I put the cream on her back this evening, she didn't even try to scratch it, the first time in a long time. 

I find it very frustrating when she scratches so hard.  She won't respond when I tell her 'no', even with a loud voice.  She has leart to say 'no' and pout at the same time. Comical.  However, when I do say no to her, she says 'sore'.  She learns so well.  All being well, improvements in skin condition will be seen in the next 24-48 hours.

Subsequently, MJ was very tired after her busy day, and was taken to bed early.  When I was putting her on her bed, her eyes were closing.  She's had a good night so far.

Then it was me diving out the door for sugarcraft, minus full working mojo.  Not surprising really!  And now gentle people, I'm off to bed as well! Good Night!

Attempting Sugarcraft Roses

At sugarcraft tonight, my mojo wasn't quite mojo-ing.  I couldn't quite get the technique right, I was nearly getting there by then end.  From the centre cores that we did last week, we had to put two petals on each one, most will have more petals added once the first two are dry.  I think I know where I was going wrong.  Plus more practice is needed!  I really can't expect to get everything right first time of trying it!  This is my bigger rose, for the bouquet.  I want to try and finish all the big roses for next week.  There is no big rush, but I don't want to fall behind.  This is the last one I did, then down tools whilst the going was improving!

 In the background are the centre cores, I'm sure they will have a posher name.
Ariel view of the smaller roses.
 And sideways.  They don't look overly inspiring at the moment, I'll give them chance, I've had a very busy day today!

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Southerly Drive

Today I had a few precious hours of 'Me' time.  I took D up on her offer of going to hers.  She lives about 20 miles away, south of here, about a 30-35 minute run.  I took my knitting, but had a feeling that there would be more chat than knitting.  I managed to get a few rows done, only a few mind!  The road there is very windy and up and down.  I did have my camera with me, but didn't get it out.  The view on the way back is exceedling stunning.  Anther place to go to a run to, have a short walk and take pictures.

Anyhow, we had a good chat, dare I say touching on gossip at times!  Quite productive all in all.  D had made some soup with veg from her garden - very lovely.

I got back to find that Mary-Jane had had a very unsettled afternoon and had been screaming non-stop for three quarters of an hour and couldn't settle to anything for very long.  Not like her.  She wasn't overly interested in her tea - veggie burger and scrambled eggs, she usually likes this.  However she did drink her milk.  I gave her some calpol incase she was having any aches and pains, growing pains or peggie ache and took her to bed about 20 minutes early.  She settled for over an hour, then awake and crying. Cuddles, bed, cuddles and time ten minutes on our bed, bed, playing on her own bed, disturbed light sleep for a couple of hours.  Touch wood she has properly settled now and will have a good rest of the night.

I have told her that I will take her on adventures tomorrow - to the playgroup (mother & toddler group) at Gosforth.  Fingers crossed she will have a better day.

Winter Sunshine In The Garden

Saturday Morning, we enjoyed some wonderful winter sunshine out in the garden.  HK cleaned the chook house out and Mary-Jane and I had a little wander.  Rhinog was looking on, not wanting to miss out on any of the action.

 The chooks are looking in good condition, with thanks to HK's attention.  HK and I want to extend the run for the girls.  It's only part of the run that you see here.  Egg production is rockily increasing.  One of the two banties has started laying again - a tell tale white egg was collected today.
 Mary-Jane at the moment seems to prefer to stick to parts of the garden that she already knows.  I tried to set her off another path, but she wasn't interested.  Here she is inspecting the outside sink
 Just checking it for stability
 Mary-Jane has a new pair of wellies - orries as she calls them.  She likes them as they have a good moulded sole - we call them her stomper wellies, as stomp she does!  I put her on the lawn, she had a quick run round then wanted to go back on the path.  Note Mr Snuggles came too.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Pink Caped Super-Girl!

Mary-Jane has had fun today.  Apart from not wanting an afternoon nap, then getting so tired come late afternoon that she was getting frustrated with herself.  She loves to have a wander around the house.  She is liking finding place to sit that are just her height.  The bottom stair is top of her list.  She also likes sitting in the white wicker chair that M got especially for her.  This chair is situated in D's room, so she likes spending an increasing amount of time in there too.

Here is Mary-Jane enjoying the bottom stair

 MJ likes it when she can get hold of any of my clothing or shoes and plays with them.  She had hold of my pink cardi.  She started putting it around her neck, which is her way of putting it on.  I tried to put it on her, but only got as far as putting the hood on her head before she wriggled and was off and away.  The game had begun!  I like this picture, she looks so solemn and so Lady Di! 
 Here she is having a roam around the kitchen in her pink super-girl cape!
 And back to the bottom stair for more smiles!  The skirt that she is wearing was made by my Ravelry friend, Lizavietta.  I love it.
 What can I say about this picture, that the picture doesn't say itself?  I love my little girl x

Woolsack Olympic Cushion Knitting

I had heard of the campaign to knit a cushion to give to each and every athelete at this years Olympic Games.  I'm not particularly olympic minded.  The more I saw about this though, the more I gavve it thought.  The final straw was when I saw a 'bit' about it in the December/January County News from the WI.  Well why not I thought.  I'm trying to be more active, get involved and get out and about.  I contacted the local co-oridnator, DP, and things are going well.  Luckily DP lives probably less than 10 miles from here.  We have swapped quite a few email and seem to get on.  I was invited to go to her house, sort things further from there and join in with the Knitting Group that was happening that day at her house.  The views from her house are stunning.  I must explore that neck of the woods.  Then again, all around here ranges from beautiful to breath takingly stunning.  Even Sellafield has a strange beauty.  I digress.

The cushions are to be 16" square and to be made of British Wool only.  DP gave me three balls of yarn from her stash, that she had set aside for the cushions.  All I can say is that I am thankful to have the chance to knit with such exquisite yarns.  Two colours don not have ball bands but the third is 'Pure Hebridean Wool - Natural coloured fleece from a Rare Breed Hebridean Flock'.  If I'd not decided to participate in the Cushions, then I wouldn't have had chance to knit with this wonderful yarn or meet someone who calls me a 'Fellow Knitter Nutter'!  Kismet.

I have started on the knitting proper tonight.  I initially decided to do stripes.  Later I decided to do a mitered square.  I cast on 145 stitches on to 4.5mm circulars.  I am k2tog either side of the central stitch on alternate rows.  I am doing four rows in each colour and keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out a 16" square!  If not, jiggery pokery!

Here is a close up of what I have done so far, only 12 rows.

 And here is not quite so close up!
I'm hoping it will turn out rather good and I do the yarn justice!

If you want to know more about the whole cushion thing - have a look at Woolsack  It is full of information - and includes free patterns!  There is one with some cabling that has caught my eye.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Avril's January Project Day

I was wanting to catch up with you tonight.  HK was on the laptop all last evening, so I sat, knitted and watched TV.  He usually goes up to bed early, reads and listens to the radio.  But last night he wanted to surf the t'internet.

So a brief catch up.

I enjoyed Avril Project Day on Thursday.  I actually learned new stuff.  And this new stuff was in preparation for the Big Project Day in two weeks.  Then we are going to learn Modular Knitting.  Exciting.  On Thursday I learned a new, and seeming good way to pick up stitches.  I was tasked with making a cube.  Initially by knitting a square (and casting off) then picking up stitches on all four edges, an edge at a time to form the shape of a cube.  It was also put to us, as a group, what we wanted out of the classes.  We agreed a big project and some smaller ones.  We are making a shawl, a big-ish one I think, with lots of different stitches and perhaps techniques for us to learn.  Can't wait!  Av showed us a book that I now have on my Amazon wish list - Victorian Shawls by Jane Sowerby.  I'll try and sort a link later.  Av also gave us a pattern for a stuffed heart.  She's given the pattern to the group before, before my day.  She wanted us to practice colour changes with that.  I've not started on it yet.  I wanted to do a smaller heart on it, so I need to do a bit of maths and a bit of jiggery pokery.

D showed us a book that she had got for Christmas, that she is thrilled with - Debbie Bliss, A Knitters Year.  I can see why she is happy with it.  I looked that up on Amazon as well.  HK was stood over my shoulder, as I waffled on about the book.  He clicked the 'Buy' button for me.  Swoon.  A real unexpected treat.

I'd like to stay the afternoons at the Thursday Project days and hone my crochet skills, but time away from Mary-Jane and money prohibit this at the moment.

In Brief Now- Fuller Later:
I also need to tell you about the Olympic Cushions - have a look at Woolsack for more info.  I also need to take pictures and tell you of the yarn I'm using - scrumptious.

Mary-Jane and I spent some time in the garden as well today - photos on their way.

Ocular Migraine - took all of the next day to properly clear.  I had what I call a Residual Migraine - an usual head ache for me, like a really nasty migraine waiting in the wings to be triggered off.

Meeting a Sugarcraft Friend in Workington, for a coffee

I have arranged to take D up on her offer and have arranged to go to hers  next week.

My first meeting as WI Secretary

Now I shall go to bed, it's getting late and HK will (rightfully) nag me about going to bed late.

PS - I'm still slogging away with Sereknitty.  I miss counted previously how many rows I had to go.  The running total is now 78 rows.

PPS - Did I say that I have found a Mother and Toddler Group for Mary-Jane?  And a music group?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Short and Sweet

I am looking forward to this busy week drawing to a close.  I have enjoyed it nevertheless.

This morning I went to Avril Monthly project day.  This afternoon I went to Eskdale to meet a Knitty Lady I have been emailing - very pleasant.

This evening I have had an Ocular Migraine.  The first for about two years.  I shall keep this post brief, so not to aggrevate my eyes recovery, or indeed to bring on a full migraine, they take me a day or two to get over.  I have lots to tell you about. Tomorrow x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Spring Term Sugarcraft

The new Spring Term for my Sugarcraft started this evening.  We are making daffodils, snowdrops, pussy willow and irises.  Along side this we are also making a pastillage card with roses.  All very exciting.  The group was in bouyant mood and there was much chat and banter, the time flew by.  I am meeting the lady who sits next to me on Friday, so we can go for a coffee.  Another thing to look forward to!

Tonight we made the buds/inners for the roses and I think another flower, but I really can't remember - what am I like??? - and the buds for the pussy willow.  I've not actually done the pussy willow yet - they will go on the white wire.  Ah, I remember - the smaller buds are for the snow drops.  For next week, I need to decide what colour roses I want to do.  I don't think it will be anything flambouyant.  My first thought was to do them blood red, ready for Valentines Day.

There is also a cake decorating workshop at the beginning of March.  I'd like to do that.  It's not yet been decided what style we shall be doing - Mothers day, Easter or Christening.  It will be with a sponge rather than fruit cake.

I'll try and post after each class and show you the progress. 

I have found a Mother and Toddler Group in Gosforth - on a Tuesday Morning, so I shall take Mary-Jane next week.  I have also been told of a Music Group that is held twice a month, at the same venue.  We shall go to that as well.  The next one is on the 20th January.

My head is busy with WI and Knitting Stuff.  Today has been a busy 'head day'.  I also made online acquaintences with a lady who lives a few miles away, who sounds very much like me when it comes to all things Knitty.........  Until tomorrow, Adieu!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Today And Plans For The Upcoming Week

Today has been a slow and steady day.  HK and I took the decorations down this morning.  Our room did seem bare, not for long though.  Our room is busy enough, we have a lot crammed into it, including all Mary-Jane's toys.  I have carefully put the decorations in a basket and put them on top of Mary-Jane's wardrobe ready for next Christmas.

There are no startling knitting revelations.  I have plodded on with Sereknitty, perhaps doing about as much as yesterday - happy to knit it still.  I think I may have, just may have, come to the end of the colour repeat.  It seems that some colours are very similar to others.

I still have the thought of socks running round my head.  I have my knitting group tomorrow.  I'm probably going to take Sereknitty.  I am tempted to take some Peaches N Creme leftovers and a crochet hook and ask LA for help to get me started on The Rug.  I have wanted to do/start The Rug for a very long time - a couple of years at least.  I need to pack my knitting bag tonight, so it depends if I can readily find P&C leftovers and a suitable crochet hook.  I think that should be more than do-able.  I just need to do it

Tomorrow evening I have my first WI Committee Meeting.  I wanted to re-design the layout of the minute templates before then.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I found that I had recorded an episode of 'Waking The Dead' that I had not seen before.  Episodes like that are quite rare!  Plus I want an early night.  My bed time has been creeping later and later.  I got up at 6.30 this morning, only because I was awake and thought a quiet cuppa with HK (who was already up) would be a fine way to start the day.

Sugarcraft re-commences Tuesday night.  I'm looking forward to that.  Wednesday day, HK has to sign on, evening is the main WI Meeting.  Thursday is Avril's Knitting Project Day (or half day for me).  A very busy week.  So you will have tired but excited ramblings to look forward to!!  Oh and I must get Mary-Jane to a Mother and Toddler Group, that is most important.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Musing On Socks

I am continuing with Sereknitty.  The rows don't seem so long or tedious tonight.  I can face the amount of rows and stitches at the moment without feeling dejected.  The colours are floating my boat.  I have just knitted the second section of lime.  I thought that this would be where the colours would start repeating, but they haven't.  I have done 8 rows tonight.  It doesn't seem much - I am getting there.  I no longer have the feeling that I want to put it down and start something else.  Although I am preparing to think and decide what to do next.

The Fore-Runners are:
1.  The Georgiana Shawl from Jane Austen Knits.  I still haven't checked out the potential yarn I have in mind for this project
2.  Something for Mary-Jane.  Not got too much of a clue at the moment - I have a few ideas, but am waiting for inspiration
3.  A pair of socks for me.  Not just any socks, at the moment I am my mind is hovering with Skew  from Knitty.com - another brilliant web site - please do take a look if you are not familiar with it.

I've just taken a quick look on Ravelry to find the link for the socks and am tempted to look at other socks as well.  I mustn't cloud my mind!!  Although I did catch myself daydreaming today, about having lots of pairs of knitted socks.  Don't worry - all yarn will be from The Stash.  I bought lots of sock yarn in anticipation of the Sock Bug biting me.  It took it's time biting me.  In the meantime I discovered that sock yarn was good for shawls, so kept buying it anyway!  I so wish I could have all my yarn out on display or where I could reach out and touch it all, to sit on the floor and admire it.  Time will come.  It will be fun going through my boxes where it is stored in the barn and hunt out all my sock yarn and get it together.  On the upside, I know I have enough yarn to make at least three pairs of socks, in this very room.  Excellent.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a Knitty Friend a few years ago (is it really that long ago?)  Her middle name might as well have been 'Sock Queen'.  Her socks were exquisitely crafted in beautiful yarns.  She came to Knit Group one day, during conversation, she fessed up that she had counted her sock yarn stash and thought she had roughly enough sock yarn to make 250 pairs (if memory serves me right, I could be wrong, but it was a huge amount).  She could make a pair of socks in no time.  I have no doubt what so ever that her Sock Yarn Stash has changed greatly since then!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Mr Snuggles The Second

Mary-Jane and I (and M) have had a busy day today.  At half ten we headed out to do the weekly shop, plus one or two errands M wanted to do.  We got back about a quarter to four.  Mary-Jane did very well, considering we were out for so long and she was mainly sitting, strapped in various chairs.  MJ wore her new Christmas Coat for the first time.  She was so happy with her coat and her new found freedom to roam the house, that she didn't stop to pose for the camera.  She also took one of her bags with her and put her Mickey Mouse toy in it.

 She really looks good in her new coat.
One of the errands M wanted was to get Mary-Jane a new Mr Snuggles.  Mr Snuggles is something she has had since she was about 6 months old, or there abouts.  It is a little snuggle blanket, not even 12" square, one side is a plush fleece type fabric and the underside is a soft satiny one.  In the middle is a bear head and two paws that you can put your fingers in.  There is also a bell in the head.  You get the general idea.  For a couple of months, Mary-Jane has not been parted from Mr Snuggles, day or night.  Before this, she would leave him on her bed during the day.  As you can guess, this leads to the issue of trying to wash and dry Mr Snuggles without his absence being noted.  This is why she has a new Mr Snuggles.

She did initially take to Mr Snuggles II, but knew he wasn't the one.  The One is marked for a long over due bath in the washing machine.

Whilst walking from the shop back to the car, we bumped into Auntie E.  Auntie E was walking to the supermarket where we were going for lunch so she joined us.  Auntie E is actually Mary-Jane's Great Great Aunt.  She will be 91 later this month.

After lunch, and leaving Auntie E to do her shopping, we continued on to do ours and returned home.  I did bump into one of the Knitting Ladies, stopped and had five minutes with her.  That was pleasant.

Once home and unpacking the shopping, Mary-Jane wanted a pick up - mainly so she could be in the kitchen and not in the front room.  She protested when I went to put her back in the front and our heads collided.  Not hard at all mind.  But I got caught right on a pressure point and went dizzy.  I had to put MJ down immediately and sit down before I fell down.  It was over an hour before I forced myself to get out of the chair and to carry on.   I didn't have much to do, so I can't be over melodramatic, but I did hang onto furniture whilst walking around.  It took a few hours to completely come round properly.  So glad I wasn't on my own for that!

I have continued with the Sereknitty tonight.  I think I have only done about 10 rows.  It feels like more.  I think I have just over 100 rows to go, and increasing probably teh same amount of stitches.  At the moment, I feel that if I put it down and do something else, it won't get finished for a long time.  However, the colours are chirpy and keep me going.  Perhaps the challenge I needed lay in the type of stitch rather than the amount!  Never mind, I shall plug on and try and feel good about it - or should I be feeling more good about myself???!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Quieter House

The House is quieter now.  We are now down to myself, HK and Mary-Jane, M & D, one dog, four cats.  Once the house was quieter, my ears and head were ringing, with what I can only describe as a kind of White Noise.  I am appreciating the quiet.  Mary-Jane went to bed at her normal time.  She has only cried out once in her sleep since then.  Bliss.

This evening I have watched TV and cracked on with my Sereknitty cape.  I'm liking the colours alot. I'm on row 42 and I can tell the rows are getting longer.  I have started the cape at the neck edge.  I do have another ball of this yarn.  If I don't get too p**d off with it, I'll re-write the pattern starting with the lower edge, so the rows get shorter.  Or even see what other yarn I could use, or even add a few different stitches.

This afternoon I went to LA's house for a coffee with her and M.  It was most enjoyable.  I stayed for two hours, I wanted to get back for Mary-Jane.  I was starting to relax more, but it was time to go.  we chatted and I got to know them more, and I suppose they got to know me a bit more!  LA had made some tasty scones and bramble jam.  M has invited me over to hers as well.  I said that come the summer or warmer weather when we can sit outside, they should come to me.

We had a bit of a 'Show & Tell'.  I showed off my new Sense and Fashion Handwarmers, with much praise.  M had crocheted a baby blanket in squares, using a Garn Studio yarn.  It was beautiful and the colour ways were rather lovely.  No baby pinks, blues or whites in sight!  LA had made a scarf/cowl in a floaty lavender coloured mohair type yarn, this was for a friend.  We didn't actually get to the point of doing any actual knitting or crochet.  A lot of conversation was of yarns, patterns and all manner of knitty things, a bit about previous employment, and how forgetful we are now compared to years ago.

Monday is the first Woodlands Knitty Group of the New Year.  It's the usual knitting group, not a new one, as such.  I think next week will be busy.  It's WI week as well.  It will be my first time going to the Committee Meeting.  I'm not sure when I formally take over as Secretary, perhaps then.  Things are not always told to me, I'm getting well used to that.  Next week also sees the first Knitting Project Day of 2012, down at Fobbles.  Definitely a busy week.  And most importantly I want to find a Mother and Toddler Group that Mary-Jane and I can go to.  I have found one, just need to make sure it's still running, and when etc.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

More On Stash Busting 2012

Stash Busting (SB) - the thing I'm going to do in 2012.  I'm going to try to use just my stash.  I won't say use only my stash.  These days to have new yarn is a rare treat.  I knew frugal days were coming so I did stock pile somewhat in the last year I was in Stafford.  Plus I bought quite a bit of baby yarn.  The aim of the venture is, as I've said, to use your stash as much as possible.  Nothing is stopping you getting new yarn.  I have signed up to this at Creating A Family Home.  There is a link on the right hand side and it is listed in the blogs I follow.  Please look here for more information - indeed join in the fun if you want to!

I've not compiled a list of WIP's as at the moment I'm more or less completing a project before starting the next.  I have for a year or two listed UFO's but there was very little movement on them, so I have omitted both lists.  I may start a list of Stash Busting Projects, that sounds like a good idea.  There is no way I am going to itemise my stash, that will take far too long.

So to kick off my SB, the first thing I'm going to include is the Sense and Fashion Handwarmers.  The second is what I have on my needles at the moment.

It is a cape, which I have called 'Sereknitty'.  I am using a yarn called 'Serene, from Kirkton House.  It is Aldi's own yarn.  The cape pattern is off the ball band.  I have seen very similar patterns elsewhere.  M got me the yarn a couple of months ago.  It is a 300g ball, I don't know what the yardage is.  90% acrylic and 10% polyamide.  I'm using 5mm circular needles.

This is it so far.  The colours are rather lovely.  The cast on colour - in the middle is actually a luscious lime.  I'll try to get better light for the next set of pictures.
I'm not sure which project I'm going to do next.  I'm still tempted to do a very lacy shawl and something for Mary-Jane.  And I still want to crochet a big oval floor mat out of my Peaches n Creme leftovers.  I've wanted to do that for quite some time.  I may need to ask LA's help to start me off with this.  It will be a long term, ongoing project.

On the Mary-Jane front - her sleeping is much improving each night.  She awoke twice last night during the evening and had a bit of a lie-in this morning.  This evening she actually asked to go to bed around 5.15pm.  After saying her night-nights, and putting in her bed, there was no protests what so ever.  So far, I have heard only one little murmer.

She has had a good walk around the house and we went for a ride in the car - nothing exciting - taking HK to an appointment in Cleator Moor.  We stayed in the car, as it was raining and the charity shop is shut on a Wednesday afternoon.

Tomorrow I am going for Coffee at LA's house and M is joining us.  This is quite an event for me.  It is the first time I have gone to someones house for Coffee since I have been here.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Stash Busting in 2012

Just the briefest of introductions for this - it's way past bedtime and it has taken me too long to suss out how to do the links and I don't think I'm quite there yet........

In a nut shell - use your stash!  See how far you can go in the year with just using your stash.  This doesn't mean that you can't buy anything new, just try and stash bust!  I have a SABLE stash and very little money to buy new yarn for the foreseeable, so this venture floats my boat. 

More tomorrow!

MJ, The Apron and The Phone

Mary-Jane was able to go wandering in the house today.  She's not been able to either because the dogs were loose or she could hear them - or it just wasn't feasable for her to be in the kitchen if someone was cooking etc.  She enjoyed her walk about immensely.  She collected her pot off the side.  She has a few plastic lids in it and she walks round and plays with them.  Mary-Jane managed to pull my baking apron down off the Aga and started playing with that.  I didn't want her tripping over the apron ties, so I put the apron on her.  Well!  What did I start there then?!  She didn't want to take the apron off.  I undid it and took it off her after half an hour or so and she squealed, squawked and protested so much, that I put it back on her again.  And that it where it stayed until bedtime!!!

 It looks rather like a pinafore on her, which gave me ideas...... She is one happy little girl.
 M thought that as she had an apron on, it would only be fitting for her to have a mixing bowl to play with as well.

 Mary-Jane soon realised that she could get a good deep echo when she spoke into the bowl
 Later on, Mary-Jane wanted a walk through to see Grandad (G).  She likes to sit on his knee at his desk and look to see what she can see in the desk drawers.  After that, she saw the phone.  She pressed the loud speaker button, picked up the receiver and kept saying 'Hello'!  I was astounded!  I have never seen her do this before.  I do think M has a great deal to do with this new behaviour though!  It was comical to see her playing on the phone.  She knew how to lift the phone up and down correctly.

 I guess it won't be long at all before she is answering the phone properly!  Let's hope it's a while before she susses out how to make calls!

Sense and Fashion Handwarmers

I have finished my Sense and Fashion Handwarmers.  Apart sewing in the ends and blocking, which is needed to stop the finger edges rolling back.  They are a snug fit.  Enjoyable to knit too.  The pattern is from 'Jane Austen Knits' from Interweave.com.  It is designed by Hannah Poon.  I used the recommended yarn, for a change - just because I dropped lucky and have some in  my stash.  It took under one ball to do.  I now want to do a shawl to match.  I know I have at least two other balls which I have in the house, I need to look for some more.  I am sure I have some in a green colour, or was it pink?  I got a few balls with no particular project in mind as it was being sold off cheaply, I liked the colour and the feel of the yarn.
I took the photos myself, so they aren't in the best of focus.  As usual I was in a rush to get the images and show off.  It was just my luck that when I came to blog them last night, it was way too late to do so!
I higly recommend the pattern, and the magazine as a matter of fact.  There are quite a few projects in there that I want to do.  Even some jumpers - unusual for me!

I have cast on a shawl, in a multi coloured boucle style yarn.  I got it from Aldi a couple of months ago.  The pattern is on the ballband.  I've only done about ten rows, so no images as yet.  I was going to start another JA project, a lacy shawl, but will wait until I am not so tired of an evening to start.  Hopefully that shouldn't be too long, as things are calming down on the home front.

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Very Brief Walk At Drigg Beach

We went for a run out yesterday, mainly to get out of the house and to try and burn some of Mary-Jane's energy.  We initially headed to Gosforth to see if the play area was grassed or not.  As it has been raining lots, a grassy area isn't best to play on at the mo.  It is grassed.  We drove on to Drigg.  I have been recommended the beach and the sand dunes and a good, but breezy place to walk.

Drigg has some history, and is connected with the Nuclear industry.  I will find out more and let you know.

Drigg Beach is somewhere I want to go back to and get onto the beach properly.  We didn't go onto the beach as the path to it was rather muddy and we didn't have the right shoes on.  However, Mary-Jane absolutely loved walking, nearly running up and down the path, with Mickey Mouse in hand!

Mary-Jane, closely watched over by Daddy HK

The path down to the beach and the sea beyond.  So close yet so far!

Mary-Jane mid stride, running to me

Mary-Jane, again enjoying freedom

One of the up-sides to the drive was that within minutes of leaving Drigg, Mary-Jane was fast asleep.  She was still asleep when we arrived back at the house, so we decided to drive on and let Mary-Jane have the nap that she so needed.  We drove all the way to Whitehaven, back out through the far side of Mirehouse, along the main road then detoured through Beckermet.  She awoke a few minutes before we arrived back at the house, looking so much better for her nap.  She had been asleep nearly 40 minutes. 

I am taking her back to Drigg Beach at some point soon, to see if the air knocks her out again.  If it does, it shall be duly noted as a place that helps her sleep!  Last night she slept the best she has done in over a week.  Tonight she is sleeping one of her normal sleeps, thankfully.