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 ๐Ÿ˜†

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 ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

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 ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜‚)

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

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.

The Thanksgiving Break

It’s taken me a little while to write this as I am missing everyone like crazy so it’s been tough to get things written down.

It was wonderful.

We stayed for three days in the company of family (on the hus-creature’s side) in their stunning guest apartment.

I got to know a number of my lovely in-laws a lot better, which was really something special.

We had the turkey. And the hus-creature and I most generously offered to save everyone from the dreaded dark meat.

Honestly we truly prefer it.

Let me see if I can list the culinary delights:

  • Turkey – of course
  • Mac and cheese (delicious)
  • Jalapeรฑo cheddar corn bread (I need the recipe for this wonder)
  • Sweet potato bourbon maple mash (oh so good)
  • Green beans
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce

Then there was pie. Oh so much pie.

  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Apple
  • Pumpkin
  • There were two more but I forgot.

Apart from the apple briefly going missing, it was all delicious.

The kids were remarkably well behaved.

TT ate actual food:

#1 Son… did not. But I didn’t really expect that he would.

They had loads of fun outside in the gorgeous grounds of the main house.

TT made daddy take her for a ride in the cart:

There was much happy shouting of “wheee” and “MORE” ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—

#1 Son just ran about a LOT.

There was a brief moment of panic. Do you see the large body of water? There was a moment when Daddy could not find him. He had wandered in to tell me about his “club house” and wandered off again. He meant the guest apartment, which is where he had gone.

Without telling us that he was going there!!!

So no, he had not drowned himself, but we all panicked. He was most confused as to why.

On Friday, almost everyone else took the train to visit New York and do the tour of Lady Liberty.

We opted not to attempt to drag the offspring up 200+ steps. Granddad also decided not to go. So there was brief discussion on how to entertain said childer-beasts, and we decided to go to the nearby aquarium, and leave granddad to rest.

However he decided that he would like to join, which was lovely. However there wasn’t room for five people in our car, lovely though it is.

Therefore, rather than take a Lyft on a very busy day, I selflessly (honestly, see the halo ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‡) opted to stay behind in the guesthouse with my knitting, tea and leftover turkey.

Totally generous of me wasn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

They had a lot of fun:

Right until they found a soft play area. Whereupon #1 Son had a full on meltdown, including trying to escape from granddad, because other children wanted to play with the things he was building an invention out of.

How very dare they ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

And so the trip was cut short and they all came home.

All in all it was a lovely visit with family with many moments of happy.

The drive home was much less eventful than the trek up, we managed it on a full ‘tank’.

However upon our return we discovered that when, in his haste, the hus-creature had dropped the car charger to the ground before we embarked, it had gone kaput.

Which, in my humble opinion, makes it entirely unfit for purpose. Sadly it is still busted over a week later but the company are working on it. Stand by for that update.

So yes, that was our Thanksgiving Break. Many thanks are extended to Domi et al for putting us up and for inviting us up for Christmas.

We are very much looking forward to it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜

December Madness


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 ๐Ÿ™„

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

But the piรฉce 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 ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก

The aftermath

So. I am home.

Before leaving TT and I made matching hair:

Which cheered me up.

The lady who rang me was really pleased to see me. I got a hug and a back rub, and told they were very happy I came.

I was confused.

She then helped me with my sock for over an hour.

I’m having issues with turning the heel and the pattern is written assuming use of Double Pointed Needles instead of Magic Loop on a circular needle so she asked if I would be coming on Wednesday to get more help.

And I want to.

Yet five hours ago I was sobbing and heartbroken.

My brain confuses me.

They gave me an out, in the sense that they asked if they should keep the cheque and I said yes.

It’s just, it’s local, some of the ladies seem nice. And it’s a good space to decompress and doesn’t involve large amounts of travel.

I don’t know.

I know I want to finish this sock. I was even taught how to knit and purl faster tonight.

I’m going to snuggle with the hus-creature, eat tacos, drink booze and watch The Walking Dead and not think for a bit.

Who I am

I am loud. I am boisterous. I am chatty. I am loving. I am neurotic. I am obsessive. I am weird. I am strange. I am brave. I am not as tough as I would like to be. If I love you I will go to the ends of the earth for you. I give people too much benefit of the doubt.

I am also too much for some people to handle.

In the nicest possible way I am being asked not to return to my Wednesday knitting group. No, honestly it was done very nicely. I have apparently been a bit too talkative and people want to just sit and knit and decompress.

They haven’t cashed my cheque from last week and have suggested I pay ad hoc for a few more sessions to see how it goes. They gave me suggestions on how I could fit in. I do believe that if I could manage them and be what they wanted that it could work.

But honestly? I won’t be able to change myself, I’ve tried before and it never sticks. Then I’ll either sit up there and not say anything but somehow make people uncomfortable with that, or I’ll forget and start chatting again and upset people.

So I have chatted to the hus-creature and my other bestest friend in the world and they have made me see that it’s not my fault, it’s just a bad fit.

So I’m going up tonight to finish the Magic Loop class I paid for (I do want to learn the technique) and then I think I shall collect my cheque, make noises about “holiday commitments” if asked and then not go back.

I am a square peg, and this class is a round hole. Its just not the correct place for me, and I should leave it to the round pegs who are settled and happy.

The hus-creature has already found a group called The Drunken Knitwits who meet in bars and knit and they meet on Monday’s. So I shall try that tomorrow (needs a Lyft) and report back.

I mean knitting and alcohol? What’s not to like?

I debated not writing this. I debated baring myself in this way. But nobody will be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.

I am fish fingers and custard.

As long as being you doesn’t break laws, keep on being you.

Happy Veteransโ€™ Day

Or otherwise entitled happy enforced bring your children into work day.

At least as far as the hus-creature’s colleagues are concerned.

For you see, there is no school today. And actually there was no school on Tuesday either as it was an election day. Don’t ask me why, no idea, couldn’t vote anyway but the kids had a day off school.

We declared it a pyjama day today as it’s suddenly really cold, and the electrician is in the middle of digging a trench to run cables to allow us to plug in the car – and it has to be done quick before this cold snap turns more permanent.

And also because neither child wanted to get dressed and I couldn’t be bothered to have an argument when we didn’t need to – it’s not like we had to go anywhere.

Today’s attempt at feeding children part the first:

TT ate barely anything, but #1 Son ate everything apart from the banana (and he at least bit that).

This was dinner:

#1 Son has decided this is evil, but TT cleared her plate.

I give up.

So #1 Son has only had a three day week. Surprisingly he has handled it far better than I expected. I choose to infer nothing from this as it could mean absolutely anything. So yesterday we had to walk home from school as our lovely J had another appointment. So we went and got our usual ice creams.

The irony of buying ice cream when the temperature has dropped significantly is not lost on me but a mile and a half walk is tiring for him and it’s a nice little treat and it’s something that both children eat and enjoy.

Actually as we were walking to school we walked past our usual ice cream shop and the Tiny Tyrant pointed at it and said “Hello ice cream yay bye-bye” as I had told her we were getting ice cream after picking up #1 Son.

Her comprehension and vocabulary appear to be expanding by the day. I’m doomed!!!!

On Wednesday (yes I know I’m jumping around a bit) I had my (now becoming usual) “Sit ‘N Knit” class and as this one is from 7 to 9 PM I miss children bedtime so I make sure that I say goodnight to them before I leave. When I said goodbye to TT she said “no mummy no out not yet. Cuddle”

Which is a bloody good sentence, shows incredible comprehension and is manipulative as all get out.

Yep doomed.

So I sat and knitted my sock I have managed to start on the heel! Huzzah! Yes yes I am very well aware that a sock needs a friend but let’s just go one at a time shall we?

And the long-memoried in the audience may recall that last week I was obsessing over a certain skein of yarn…

Well the precious is mine:

Wonder. Woman. Socks.

I think it might have been the final skein from the current batch. I had to rummage to find it.

I will knit them. I will stroke them. I will love them. I will wear them.

I so rarely make things for me.

Oh and I got my first knitting friend cell number ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Yesterday I popped downstairs to give H another bag of outgrown TT clothes (thankfully she seems happy to have them – I always worry in case it’s seen negatively somehow) and we finally managed to exchange numbers.

I also met her twin grandsons – very sweet boys ๐Ÿ˜Š

It also seems she’s as keen on Christmas as she is on Halloween – so I’ve happily handed over outside decorating to her.

I can handle a tree (and finally a real tree – the cat will be a bastard with whatever we get, and after all, she is a forest cat) and maybe some indoor decorations, but I’m not ready to tackle outside yet…

The remainder of our week

So, it didnโ€™t start out very well. But, #1 son improved tremendously by the end.

This was his journal entry from his teacher I was ecstatic.

He has actively engaged with school work which is a miracle!!!

Today is a public holiday (Columbus/Indigenous Peopleโ€™s Day) and we were going to go to the zoo, but the weather is awful for that, so after TT wakes up from her nap, we will head off to Lego Land instead.

Itโ€™s a fun couple of hours for both kids.

TT? Meh, not so good. She managed to destroy a treasured memory from our very first trip to Paris, but the hus-creature believes he can arrange for a restoration.

She also trapped her foot in a tight metal space, is hitting a lot, and just generally working my last nerves.

Her speech has come on amazingly, and she can get her own trousers on, so itโ€™s probably a leap, coupled with boundary pushing Terrible Two-ness.

Butter wouldnโ€™t melt right?

I have signed up for a two-day class on learning magic loop and sock knitting which I am so looking forward to.

$65 bucks for 4 hours 1:1 with other local yarny folks? Bargain!


Was mostly a quiet day. After yesterdayโ€™a madness we needed a bit of a break.

So I decided to take a little mosey on up to Lucky Cat Yarns.

Itโ€™s a gorgeous little yarn shop only 0.5 miles away, newly reopened and refurbished.

Itโ€™s beautiful.

They are so welcoming there, and they run classes and have โ€œSit โ€˜N Knitsโ€. I foresee the occasional evening up there with my needles – maybe they can even teach me to knot Continental style…

And some of them are doing the same knit along as me ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

It was Bath Night tonight.

The kidlets are no longer sharing. Ever again. Took a very long time to clear up the puddles.

#1 Son actually let me clean his ears (which I had to give up nail cutting for, but theyโ€™ll last another week).

TT has decided that having her hair blow dried is the worst thing ever – but I managed to accidentally create perfect ringlets for about 10 minutes.

Already dropping out by the time I took the photo ๐Ÿ˜ฐ and I doubt Iโ€™ll ever be able to replicate it sigh.