Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to school blues

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm packing my bags ready to go back to school tomorrow. There it is, that sense of unease deep in the pit of the stomach. Urggh. I'm not 10 years old, but I still get that end of the holidays anxiety - even though I love my job. Goodness knows how the children feel.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A good workout

J was at a friend's house the other day when he saw her treadmill.
'I'll be on one of those next week,' he mentioned as he told her about his recent hospital admission and the follow-up exercise test 'for reassurance' he was going to have.
'We never use that,' the friend replied. She'd bought it for her daughter, who lost interest in it quickly.

J told me about it. I was interested as it was a good price for a hardly used machine. I mentioned it to j who turned it into the whole 'Can I have a pony?' thing.

Anyway, long story short, we bought a treadmill. An electric treadmill, with variable speeds and a rising gradient bed.

j and I arranged to collect it. It took 4 of us to restrain the thing and lift it into the car. Getting it out of the car, there was only j and I. We got it out and lifted it into the house, but faced by the stairs, I just couldn't do any lifting. My worst nightmare: afull-sized treadmill stuck on the stairs and J arrived home. I knew he'd want to help, but he's not allowed to lift. Fortunately, a friend and his 2 sons - all builders - came to the rescue and we had it installed shortly afterwards.

I was too exhausted to try it yesterday and when I woke up this morning I was in the grip of a full-blown flare. Managed a 7 minute walk hobble on it, though.

The arrival of this monster means I've lost my desk in the shared study, which is now j's study and gym. (I can apply for an appointment) So, I'm back to working on the dining table.

Not really as problem as we hardly ever eat at it anymore. I'm afraid we've turned into one of those families who eat in front of the TV. It isn't spoiling family conversation as we talk all the time, but I do have nagging guilt about it. Not even the really pale living room carpet deters us, although I do sometimes worry when we eat curry or pasta.

Currently on the needles:

The Antidote Socks. Really, they're Hedgerow Socks, but they are the antidote to the heavy and hard knitting of the Susie Hoodie I made for Ravelympics. Wool is Supersock from Violet Green

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And stretch...

I managed to make our DVD player region-free without the help of a teenager today, so I'm quite pleased with myself. I had to do this to play the Yoga DVD I bought ages ago and never got around to trying. I struggled with lots of it, but do feel that I've had a good stretch now. I hope I can keep up the momentum as I've been feeling very stiff and achy recently.

I think one of the big causes of much of the discomfort is the hours I have put into my Susie Hoodie for the Ravelympics.

I got it finished in time to get my medal. (only finished the evening before the closing ceremony so that was cutting it a bit fine really.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Harlow Carr

J and I drove down to Harlow Carr, the Royal Horticultural Society's Northern outpost in Harrogate.

We knew we were taking a chance with the weather, but had become a bit stir crazy. Unfortunately, it was Pirate Day - part of Family Fortnight. Now, don't get me wrong; we have nothing against families. We have one of our own. It's good to see children enjoying the gardens, but we'd rather they enjoyed the gardens when we weren't there. (Enjoying = screaming, hitting trees with cutlasses, running around the coffee shops shouting and crying and smearing ice cream, being accompanied by ineffectual parents with no parenting skills or ability to cope with their own children)

It did rain to start with.

We sheltered in a greenhouse full of half-ripe tomatoes until it passed. If it had gone on for any length of time we could have survived by making chutney and living off that.

The rain passed and we enjoyed the walk through the woods, despite some minor trench foot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tempus fugit

The postman brings increasing amounts of post for j now. It started to happen when he turned 16. This morning brought his provisional driving licence. How did I ever get old enough to have a child with a driving licence? He's left school now and is awaiting GCSE results (tomorrow) before he starts at college doing A levels next month.

He can't use the driving licence yet. There are another few weeks before he's actually 17. Just about gives me time to recover from the cost of insuring our littlest, oldest car so that I can take him out for practises.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's cold and wet and I'm exhausted.

Since his heart attack, last year, J gets regular 'stitch-like' pains in his chest. They come and go quickly and usually when he's stressed. He doesn't have angina and hisconsultant says these aren't cardiac in nature. Usually, he ignores them and gets on with life. Last night he had quite a few and we were all quite worried. Eventually, at about 8:30pm, he agreed to let me take him to the hospital to get them checked out. The y kept him in overnight, but we had to wait until 1am for a bed on the Assessment Unit to be free. To say they are busy on that unit would be an understatement.
j and I got home really late (early?) and I didn't sleep well. J was ok overnight, but awake all night because of the general chaos and an unfortunate gentleman whose IV alarm went off all the time. This morning I went in early to take J some fruit and bottled water (won't eat hospital food or drink the water - and don't ask about his MRSA fears!) and the consultant was doing roundsso I stayed. (Cast on a new hospital sock)
Upshot is, he's ok. No new ECG changes and blood enzymes all ok. Got home by lunchtime (which is something of a record) with out patient appointments and a cost of only £8 in parking for the two visits. It always feels like adding insult to injury when you are wandering about the car park in the middle of the night after an emergency, trying to find a machine that will take notes and give change.

Fell asleep halfway round a row of Susie this afternoon - I feel an early night coming on.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Perfect knitting weather

A gloomy and misty day here. Much like last summer. Maybe this is how the weather is going to be from now on.

It's so cold around here. Perfect knitting weather, in fact. I managed to squeeze in a few more rounds on Susie this morning, but will have to put her, and the Olympics, asside to get on with some housework.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My latest www. finds

Have you seen Wordle? I'm usually the last person on the interweb to find out about things, so everyone else probably already knows about this.

And! There's Photofunia.

Have you ever wanted to be on the front cover of Vogue?

Or proclaim your latest finished object to the world on a banner?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

What's with all the hype?

Do you ever get caught up in the hype about a knitting product or pattern? I must admit to having leapt happily on lots of bandwagons, mostly with happy results. Sometimes I wonder "What's with all the hype?" (Handmaiden Sea Silk, February Lady Sweater-only my personal opinions!)

My latest leap stemmed from reading all about the Wollmeise phenomenon. I've been seeing these yarns mentioned everywhere, but hadn't seen the yarn. So I bought two skeins on eBay (shh... don't tell anyone, the exclusivity police might come and get me.)

Now I understand:

It's rather lovely stuff, this.

Wasn't the opening ceremony wonderful? How will we match that in London in 2012?

My progress in the WIP marathon event:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Go Team GB!

I've been knitting. Quite a lot really. I finished Hey Teach! from the latest Knitty.

Then I cast on for a top-down raglan cardigan in James C Brett marble.

I'm using an unpattern from Karen Alfke. So far I've learned quite a lot about the construction of a sweater. I'm hoping to make this the first steps in learning to design something myself.

However, this will have to go on hold as I am taking part in the Ravelympics(sorry, it's a Ravelry link), knitting for Team GB in the WIP Wrestling Event. I'm aiming to finish or get close to finishing my Susie Hoodie from More Big Girl Knits.

Go Team GB!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Castle Howard

We took advantage of a short break in the grotty weather to visit Castle Howard. We had to whizz around the house and gardens quite quickly to see it all before parts of it were closed off for a press launch of the new Brideshead Revisited movie. I loved the 1981 version.

Although it's always impressive, to be honest, we felt the house was in need of a jolly good clean. It's not a National Trust or English Heritage property and doesn't seem as well cared for. Another irritation was the proliferation of gift shops in the stable block since our last visit. I know they need to makea lot of money to keep the property maintained, but still...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finished Objects

Georgia, done in Rowan Linen Drape instead of cashmere. Modified to be longer, have a solid skirt section and to have short row shaping to accomodate my boobs.

And Mr Greenjeans from Knitty. Again, longer. Knitted in Twilley's Freedom Spirit. I love this yarn.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I've been a terrible blogger. I admit it. I've been spending all my time over at Ravelry. I have the T shirt (and tote bag) to prove it.

Hopefully, I can get back on track during my summer break from school.