Our weekend

It’s been another up and down-er.

Saturday, well a few good things happened.

The lady lady sent her handyman fiancΓ© down to fix our various issues.


Let us just gloss over the fact that we were given six minutes notice, and that I was still in my pyjamas.


So he fixed Nathan’s door handle straight away (though borrowing our tools to do it) but needed to return later to affix the new toilet seat and deal with the bathroom lock*

Which he did, at 17:00 with ten minutes notice this time.

The new toilet seat was equipped, and a hook and eye lock installed – almost out of my reach, so no worries about the children in the main.

He also noted that they were getting in a plasterer to fix H’s bathroom ceiling next month** so if we had any similar issues to report them and they would get them seen to at the same time.

Considering I will be recuperating from major abdominal surgery, how about no to random people in my house doing random crap? Plus H sent her son up two weeks ago and he dealt with the holes in our walls.

We then had Date Night. We saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I liked it. I mean yes there was some sad stuff, and some stuff that could have been better. I wonder what they will do about the next film given Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. But there were some adorable moments.

I want a Porg. And a Crystal Critter. And I used my scary spooky abilities and spotted the actress who played Dr. Ellie Stadler in Jurassic Park.

Which, leads me nearly on to some of the trailers I watched.

Films Which I Now NEED To See:

  • A Quiet Place
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • Panther
  • JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM***

There were a few others, but given you cannot have your phone in the cinema, I’ve forgotten some.

So that was lovely. Film was good. Food at the cinema in-house bar wasn’t great but they do good cocktails. We had 45min to spare before the film, so we went to the arcade and played a Jurassic Park shooter – and I didn’t totally suck!!! So that was fun.

Behold the awesome that is reclining cinema seats though!!!

Didn’t get home til half midnight, but the sitter had cable and snacks and the kids hadn’t been evil, so she’s happy to come back next week for our Burns Night shenanigans.

Then came Sunday.

We had a visit from the lovely Libidia, and First and Third. Sadly Second was poorly-sick five minutes from our place, so his daddy took him home and vowed to return to collect his lady and remaining offspring anon.

TT adores Third. However she constantly refers to them as “baby”, which, as they are actually older than her we all find hilarious.

#1 Son gets on amazingly with both First and Second, so he was sad at the diminution of expected guests but they had fun.

However. I learned that I cannot trust him to play in his room at the moment.

During the course of the visit, we noticed three separate small marker pen drawings on the hallway wall. They were too well formed to be TT or Third. And Libidia knows her offspring well enough to know their “lying face”


I wish I did!!!!


#1 Son however not only denied it vociferously but blamed his sister. Now, one of these smaller drawings was a traced handprint. And he had the offending marker on his hand and palm. Yet continued to deny and deflect blame.

So we left that for a bit, until at the end of the visit we went to find them. To be greeted with this:

Now, he was not alone in this. First did assist. Libidia offered to help pay for cost of supplies to repaint.

Fortunately this was not required. Though it did take more than two tubs of wipes to clean off:

And it ruined my poor nails:

So, as you can imagine, neither myself nor the hus-creature were enamoured of our eldest yesterday.

And do not worry dear audience, he did not escape unpunished:

  • No allowance for last week.
  • Costs of materials needed to repaint were to be taken out of his savings.
  • No screens for the rest of the day.
  • I confiscated all colouring materials.
  • I made him tidy his room unaided whilst I scrubbed his walls.

He was not impressed. But he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, tell me why he had done it.

So I shot off a quick email to his therapist, enclosing those photos and asked her to talk to him about it – if she deemed it appropriate.

So that was not a good end to the day.

However, look what I finished:

Yes – IT IS THE SOCKS.

The socks of wonder and joy.

My photo shoot got photobombed!

Despite all the trials and tribulations, I love this kid so darn much πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


*There was much blathering about the existing one being a Mortise Lock and worry about the kids getting the key and similar.

Look, at this point I don’t frigging care – just get us a damn door lock!!!!

**Uh huh – we all believe that.

***No, really I NEED to. I regress to being an over-excited 10-year-old whenever there’s a Jurassic Park film involved (well except Lost World, but that was due to my disappointment with the book) this is one of my all-time favourite franchises and I cannot wait!!!!!

Self striping yarn

I am never one to shy away from a challenge. So, having figured out my warping board, I decided to have a play.

Most people would have started on say:

  • Sock yarn
  • In a superwash base
  • Certainly without silk, alpaca, cashmere etc
  • A simple co-ordinating colourway.

You know, what with it being their first attempt and all…

Would anyone like to have a guess at what I did?

Anyone?

  • Worsted weight.
  • Non superwash
  • 80:20 alpaca silk
  • Teal and a self made orange (1/4 tsp each of Jacquard Cherry Red and Sun Yellow). I think I might have gone too heavy on the red but we shall see.

So yeah, not the usual starter probably. But see, I’m knitting these glorious bed socks in 100% baby alpaca. I’m not going to try and sell my first striping attempt, so why not play on a base I can turn into more comfy bed socks for me?

Sister in law – see what you have inspired.

The skein all dyed up and ready for wrapping and steaming.

Okay so it’s a completely clumsy job, but here it is all wrapped and rolled:

Steaming away quite contentedly:

The rinsing process begins:

And now to the drying:

All I will say is that, though fun, and highly creative (since I can definitely see pretty much endless possibilities here)

I CAN SEE WHY THIS TYPE OF YARN IS EXPENSIVE TO BUY

Not counting drying time (which I can speed with the aid of the gas fire) this single skein has taken over four hours to produce.

Oh and it does this to hands:

I did wear gloves while actively dyeing. I just didn’t for the rinsing of the foam brushes… or the skein…

*hides from Na, her nail tech*

Warping 101

So, I dye yarn. I enjoy dyeing yarn, but I’ve yet to pass beyond the basics. And, if I want to actually try and sell what I make, I need to improve my skills.

On my Amazon wish list before Christmas were:

  • New wooden swift
  • Two warping boards.

The hus-creature got me my swift, and my wonderful in-laws got me my warping board.

I cracked them open today. Now, my tutor said to wind the skein of yarn into a ball before using the warping board.

These seemed like an unnecessary waste of energy to me, considering the the swift was already set up. And since it’s instructions said you could knit straight off of it in lieu of a winder?

Why couldn’t I warp straight from the swift?!

No good reason that I could see anyway.

Now I was tremendously pleased, until I took it off the board and discovered the loop effectively has a ponytail.

I then had my Leonard Da Quirm moment* and tried my next attempt:

While better, still not right – it’s not a continuous loop on removal darn it!

I will study some more, whilst attempting to understand what to do with these looped up skeins.

Stand by for Warping 102/202…


*Brain storm followed by “I think I know what I did wrong”

Random acts of yarn kindness

Well sort of.

I haven’t really talked much about one of my main keeping sane hobbies – my fibre arts.

That’s actually because most of my most recent projects (“works in progress” or WIPs) have been gifts or surprises so I haven’t really been able to publicise them.

I’m planning on getting back into the dyeing groove in the New Year (I am desperately awaiting my warping board) so I thought I might do a “Look Back on 2017” sort of thing.

At least for those projects now safely with their recipients.

So these are from a Swapalong. The idea is that we all completed a questionnaire stating what we were prepared to make and what we would be happy to receive and in preferred (and not preferred) colours.

As I can really only make shawls yet out of the stated options, I decided to make them a bit more special and one of a kind (OOAK) by dyeing up the yarn myself.

So in the summer came this:

This was a crocheted special and yes it truly was that big.

In the winter came this:

I chose the purple rather than the multiway.


Note: the pastels were caused by using a protein fibre dyeing method on a 50:50 Merino:Cotton blend – 50% protein and 50% cellulose.


This one is knitted, and I had discovered knitting with beads by this point.

Such fun to do πŸ˜†

As it was smaller than the first, I popped in a skein of the Wonder Woman sock yarn I covet so.

Both giftees seemed very happy.

In parallel to this, I was working on a much bigger project in 80:20 Alpaca:Silk (such gorgeous yarn to both dye and crochet with).

A friend and former colleague was diagnosed with that bastard cancer and I wanted to help, so I decided to make a “you will kick this thing’s backside” blanket.

This is one I am very proud of.

The darn blanket got stuck in customs, but it found it’s way to her in the end.

I’m finally working on something for myself now – I have a yarn advent calendar with an exclusive pattern πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ»

Our (Festive) weekend

This weekend just gone, a snowstorm was predicted.

As an aside, I have been more than a tad grumpy that there hadn’t been any snow. I mean gloom and doom from predicted from November and it’s now mid-December

Anyway, my prayers were answered on Saturday and it snowed.

But not a blizzard. Just a steady, visually light, constant shower of snow that, by the end of the afternoon, left 5-6 inches on the ground.

It stopped too late to let the kids play in it though. #1 Son was most sad about this.

However, on Sunday, whilst TT was napping, the hus-creature took him out to play in it.

Behold the first ever snow angels.

He had so much fun. Then there was Snickerdoodle hot chocolate.

After TT arose we also decorated our tree. Our real non-fake Christmas tree.


I swear, I was more excited by this than the children πŸ˜‚πŸ˜†πŸ€£


Baubles were divided by coloured thread topper:

  • Purple – #1 Son
  • Orange – The Tiny Tyrant

We subsequently found the box of “special” ornaments. You know the ones, every family has them. Either bought for, or made by, the children.

Yes, those are Adventure Time baubles.

TT also spent much of the day being a modern Disney Princess

Ana with a light saber.

It was a good weekend.

The (apparent) aftermath

I am unwell today.

I’ve had killer headaches off and on for over a month – a lot of that can most likely be attributed to my untreated hypertension (started my new medication yesterday – I am now on three pills a day πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‚)

But at 3am this morning I was dragged awake with a screaming head – to the extent I actually woke the poor hus-creature by sobbing.

And I remained awake for at least an hour.

This beautiful creature kept me company though:

I’ve often said we have a dog-cat πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Sadly kitty-snuggles were not sufficient and at 4am I was calling God on the porcelain telephone.


Note: American toilets are not comfy for doing this if you are used to British plumbing.


Oddly I felt better enough to then snuggle down with my furry companion and my cuddly hot water bottle (that would be the hus-creature) and basically pass out until the alarms went off.

I’ve pretty much been a zombie for the rest of the day though. Just mainlining stodge, carbs, sugar and caffeine to get through.

No it’s not healthy but lord has it helped.

My head is still pounding, and #1 Son has a half day today, but he’s being lovely and TT is also being reasonable.

A little Christmas present from me to me arrived today:

Which has helped.

I am so tired of feeling sick and tired. Endometriosis is a bastard, and all the other conditions can get in the sea as well.

December Madness

Begins.

I’m still working on the Thanksgiving update so stay tuned for that dear audience.

So. Yesterday was December 1st. Therefore Advent Calendars are back in this household.

However this year no edible ones.

Mainly because we think TT is still a bit young for daily chocolate, and she’s old enough to be totally annoyed if her big brother has one when she doesn’t. So we went with fancy toy ones.

But, there are very few options for two year olds.

#1 Son has a Lego one. TT? Well we scoured everywhere and finally found a Paw Patrol one with no tiny pieces. TT still insists on sticking non food items in her mouth!

As for me, normally I have a Hotel Chocolat sharing one, but I didn’t think about it in time and I don’t know if they ship here.

So instead, I treated myself to a Sparkle Yarn advent box from Tinky Dye Yarns. The lovely Maria has been still shipping my clubs to me so this was a lovely addition.

The glorious box:

Dec 01:

It also comes with a bespoke pattern which will soon be on sale on Ravelry from the lovely Julie-Ann Amos and I am happily working my way through it.

I have not yet opened today’s window.

We also went to the Melrose Christmas Lights switch on last night:

There was live music

The children wanted some of the light up plastic tat that they sell. #1 Son got a light sabre, TT a snowflake magic wand.

That wand lasted less than 30 minutes before she whacked it against the stroller hard enough to shatter the snowflake πŸ™„

It’s not like they were $10 apiece or anything….

But the piΓ©ce de resistance of the evening was seeing SANTA.

Yes those are the Melrose High School cheerleaders.

The best bit though?

The kids. Both were so thrilled to see Santa.

I teared up with the happiness. I didn’t expect the sheer delight for both of them.

Mall visits will happen soon.

Today or tomorrow we will buy a tree and new decorations.

Oh, I’m also trying a new nail salon tomorrow as my last set didn’t last two days 😑😑😑