Saturday 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!

Today has been full of knitting, Harry Potter, naps, turkey melts, Mario (now suffering from that old ailment, Nintendo Thumb), leftover chocolates and fireworks. My view for the second half of the day at least was not unlike this one -

Which is uncanny, because this one was taken on Thursday. Different socks/film/cheese.

Tomorrow is for yoga, marking, stash organisation, question writing and making resolutions. But now is time for more gin and more fireworks. Happy 2017!

127 all over again. Thank you for reading. It still astonishes and pleases me that anybody does.


It has been a good year for gin. Back in May I went to a gin festival at the Paintworks...

...which was a delightful occasion. I nearly subscribed to the monthly gin box but held back, because there are times when I go right off any sort of drinking and I envisaged a time when I had twelve bottles of gin lying around, waiting to be quaffed.

Funny I should have thought that:

I picked up a bottle of pink grapefruit gin during the trip Parpy Jo and I took to The Most Middle Class Services In The World, a week before Christmas. Upon returning home, I realised I had run out of space on the booze shelves and that the piano, too, was starting to fill up. Closer inspection revealed 10 gins, and shockingly, none of them were Hendricks, so I had to up that number to 11 the next day.

It's nice to have variety. I have a few flavoureds - gooseberry, grapefruit, homemade sloe, rhubarb, and elderflower. Then I have the Mallorcan gin Mother Hand brought back from holiday, Bombay Sapphire (everyday gin), Sipsmith, Heston's lemon and Earl Grey (very drinkable) and my current favourite, Halfhitch. This one's made with bergamot and is completely delightful. That was my find of the gin festival. I keep asking for it at the gin bar in Bath and they keep telling me it's on order. I've stopped believing them.

I suppose I should really make an effort to drink some of them, but it is nice to have such a variety.

Friday 30 December 2016

Knitting Resolutions: 2016 Review

I wrote this post about what I hoped to achieve in 2016, knitting wise, back in January. I had it in the back of my mind that I would try to wind down as much of the stash as possible. To this end, I turned out about three bags for the charity table at Wonderwool and tried to prevent myself from buying too much.

I bought yarn twice this year: Wonderwool and the John Arbon open day. This amounted to roughly 10,000m of yarn in. I have knitted up (officially) 7,600m and I gave away 4,500m, so I have managed to get rid of about 20% more than I brought in. Not TOO bad. Not as good as I'd hoped - definitely not one third - but not too bad.

I did make some very specific resolutions:

1. Knit up all of the Cascade I have hanging around for roses for the rose chair. This might actually be enough roses to cover the chair. We'll see.
Nope. Not even one. Didn't even look out the pattern. I did carry around the 12mm needle tips for some time - one is still in my handbag. I don't know where the other one is. This is about as big a fail as it is possible to get, short of destroying the flowers I have already knitted. I'm currently sitting on the chair that needs upholstering, on a sheet, because the seat covering is worn so thin it might need professional attention if drastic action is not taken.
On the bright side, I'm starting a knitting club as an after-school enrichment from January and I intend to use it for this. We're all going to knit flowers.

2. Knit up all the single skeins of Lion and Lamb I have into hexagons for the epic blanket of gorgeousness. That's six skeins; seven if I count Bated Breath which is the colour I am currently knitting. I use the word 'currently' under advisement there.
I finished the Bated Breath, a partial skein of Georgetown (which wasn't part of the original count) and managed three more. I'm at 24 hexagons now, up from 2. Not a complete win, but not a complete fail either.
This isn't counted into the total above, because I decided that yarn only counts as used in the year that the project is finished. This adds another 1000m to the year's total to pass across the needles, though, which makes it easily my most productive knitting year ever, especially considering that everything I've FO'd this year was started this year - another first, come to think of it.

3. Knit another Central Park Hoody out of the black chunky tweed I bought from Emma's destash. That takes up shedloads of room.
Not a CPH, which calls for aran weight instead of chunky, but this yarn is currently being knitted into the cable yoke jacket. I fear the cable yoke jacket might be too warm for me to wear, ever, but that's another story.

4. Knit up the shawl kit I bought from Knitpicks in 2013.
Nope. I got it out and realised I'd lost the pattern, bought the pattern again online, found the original pattern immediately afterwards, carried it around with me for a while, but never started it.

5. Knit two other projects that use multiple yarns and that I have plans for - a several-coloured shawl for several blue DK skeins, and a variation on Ravello in an aran weight.
YES! I have done both of these things, of a fashion - the two-coloured blue shawl and the stripey cardigan.

Here are my completed projects, as per my Ravelry page:

...and the associated Flickr set, if you want to see them all in glorious detail, alongside many pictures of various buttons I was agonising over.

Liking the fact that some of these projects have a strong memory attached to them. Everytime I look at that red feather and fan sweater, for example, I think of watching War and Peace on the beeb.


Mother Hand and I went to visit Stourhead yesterday. It was a gorgeous, crisp, sunny day and I have wanted to go to Stourhead for ages, so it seemed like the perfect choice for a wintry tramp.


We saw so many robins. There was a small group of people clustered around one that appeared to be posing for his own photoshoot at one point on the lake. This one was in a bit more of a hurry.

I didn't realise there was so much tie in with classical mythology. Definitely going to have to read more about this.


If it was this pretty in the depths of winter, I can't wait to go in the spring.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Throwback Thursday

This time five years ago, I was skiing in Serre Chevalier with some faves.

We had some great bluebird days...

And some snowy days...

And there was the day when the weather was so bad, the wind was so strong, that we couldn't make it home via our usual lift and had to ski down to the valley (I think past the hotel where I'd stayed on my school trip as a child) and catch the bus back to Briancon. We definitely earned our time in the steam room that day.

Epic night out, on the 30th...

They gave us a free shot after dinner. Stu refused to drink his. Louzle tried to get tough with him and he told her not to use her teacher ways on him, which was funny. It wasn't Stu's holiday, really. He had said he was a really good skier - lots of difficult runs completed during a three week trip to Whistler - but he struggled with the portion of the red run on the first day. Hence, we didn't really ski with him.

New Year's Eve...

And New Year's Day.

During this trip, I skied a natural half pipe and conquered a button lift I had fallen off as a child. It was a great resort and epic amounts of fun. 
Louzle hurt her shoulder doing a ski cross though. She tried to overtake me, dropped a distance off a lip that didn't look like a lip, skied into unpisted snow and crashed through two fences. She has only skied once since then, I think, and that was on the school trip four months after this. This might be why I have never been able to convince them we should go again. 

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Tuesday Ten: 2017 Project Challenge

Inspired by the reading challenge I did last year, I thought I would come up with a similar list to inspire my knitting. My official knitting resolution is "more out than in", in an attempt to try to dial down my stash to an amount that does not make me hang my head in shame. That is going to take me a lot of projects and some serious will power at Wonderwool, but I am up for it.

I kept the list to ten:

1. A pattern from your queue
2. A pattern you previously tried and didn't complete (could be a WIP)
3. A pattern you were inspired to knit by someone else's beautiful FO
4. Something from stash
5. A pattern involving a technique that is new to you
6. An accessory that you haven't knitted before
7. A pattern recommended to you by somebody else
8. A pattern from a book/magazine you own but have never used
9. Something for somebody else
10. A project using more than one type of yarn

I have a few things in mind. I desperately want to knit something from Alice Starmore's Tudor Knits, that I bought ages ago and love looking at. I'd quite like to try entrelac as a new technique. I've been meaning to knit a Wicked hoodie with a beaded silk collar and a laceweight body for a very long time.

So, yes, plenty of scope here. Please join in.

Monday 26 December 2016

Weekend WIP

Remember how hopeful I was, back in November, about getting two more garments knitted before the end of the year? I really hope I never stop being that naive girl who hopes against reason all the time.

I've been plugging away at this all weekend. It's the yoke for a cardigan.

Mr Z asked me if I was knitting a toilet seat cover. I resisted the urge to throw it at him. The cables look great but are not fun and I haven't been able to memorise the chart, unusually for me, so it has been quite slow. But it's done now and blocked so I've picked up the stitches to knit the hood. I did this first to make sure I didn't run out of yarn - the length of the body is where I can skimp. Being naively hopeful again (so soon?) I really want to get the hood finished tonight. It's a tall order - Boxing Day is tax return day, after all, and I haven't yet made a start on the beast. But after that, it's just acres of st-st. There's a small chance I might get it done before the turn of the year.

I thought this yarn was black, but now I think it might be a very dark blue. Sublime helpfully list it as "slate" which suggests blue, I suppose, but not definitively. I've tried putting it against black things to check, but that hasn't helped much. I should try it against some black wool, that would probably do it. Not that it matters.

Scenes from the classroom #29

This year I got (I think) my first ever teacher Christmas card. It is red, gold and glittery, and says "For my teacher at Christmas time" on the front. Aww. I think it was bought in a game of on upmanship being played by two rivals in my year 11 class, to outdo the smaller card given to me by the other one the previous day, but I'll take it.

Love what she wrote inside. I always go on about Stresemann being my favourite 1920s German politician. I draw a little heart by his name when I write it on the board, so the message is completely contextually accurate. Love my history geeks.

Blue Monday

I know I said last Thursday that we'd camped in places to rival Yosemite, but Yosemite was pretty gorgeous.

This is Dog Lake, which was a short hike uphill from the eastern part of the park - around Tuolomne Meadows. I think you can do wilderness camping there but we did find quite a lot of bear scratches on the trees.

Mr Z enjoyed using the camera.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

...from us

(See how I stashed the chocolates inside that bell jar so they look pretty but I am prevented from easily extracting them for eating? Yeah. Doesn't work. I've managed to work out a method.)

...from the tree

...and from the cat who will sleep anywhere, as long as it doesn't look comfortable.

Last night she went to sleep on top of my sewing machine. It's next to a big, comfortable, fluffy, empty bed.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Throwback Thursday

This week has included the delightful task of meditating on where I'd like to go for my summer holidays this year. It is America's turn, but I think I want to go there next Christmas instead. We've done most of the easy camping we can in the vicinity of Vegas. But then I find pictures like this -

On our first camping trip, we got chatting with an old couple in a campervan on the next site (the man sent me a book in the post the following month - what a nice pair) and they said that Yosemite was the most beautiful. Yosemite was beautiful, true. But when it has views like this to contend with, that's a huge claim.

This was taken in King's Canyon NP, just to the south of Yosemite. We tramped uphill for 10-15 minutes until we came across this view. Completely worth it.

So much world, so little time.

Reading Challenge

In an effort to read more this year, I picked up Modern Mrs Darcy's reading challenge in January and have tried to use it to inform my reading this year. It has certainly made me read things I might not have picked up otherwise, which is a great thing. Here's what I've read this year:

1. The House by the Lake - a book I had been meaning to read.
This was serialised on Radio 4 during the Christmas holidays last year which meant that I caught snatches of it three mornings in a row as I drifted in and out of consciousness first thing in the morning. I kept hearing about the Delft tiles. It took me a while I find out which book it actually was but when I got hold of a copy I devoured it, and then bought copies for at least two other people. It's a memoir of a house built next to a lake just outside Berlin: a great walk through 20th century history from an unusual point of view.

2. David Mitchell: Slade House - a book I read in a day. Delightfully creepy, I heard an excerpt on Radio 4 on my way home from a late meeting at work last December and was so spooked I felt nervous walking from my car to the house in the dark. The story is utterly bizarre and had full on Victorian Gothic overtones for me.

3. CJ Sansom: Winter in Madrid - a book I own but had never read. My last go at non-Shardlake Sansom was Dominion which is probably in my top five books of all time, so I was putting off Winter in Madrid in case it wasn't as good. Sadly, I didn't think it was. It was still a cracking read but not as good as Dominion. It's set in Spain shortly after the civil war and follows British people living under the new regime.

4. Ira Levin: The Boys from Brazil - a book published before I was born. I think I must have bought this during a Kindle sale many years ago. I assumed it was about Nazi hunters in south America after WW2, but then I heard it referenced as a sci-fi so I was prompted to dig it out. It was a little unsettling - not at all what I was expecting. It's about Mengele carrying out medical experiments in the Brazilian jungle and other people trying to stop him.

5. Alex Dilmount: Jew Date - a book recommended by an old school friend. This book was written by somebody who was in my class at secondary school (that is a pen name...I can't help but feel there is something a little saucy about it, too). She converted to Judaism in her late twenties to marry a Jewish man. It's an interesting insight into how difficult this actually is.

6. Leanda de Lisle: Tudor: A Family Story - a booked recommended to me by Twitter. This isn't a close family member or a librarian/bookseller but I asked the community of history teachers on Twitter for some help preparing for the new A-level; this was on the list and available when I popped into Waterstones, so this was the first one I read. I really enjoyed it, too. Finished it in 5 days which is some kind of record for me, for non-fiction.

7. Peter Ackroyd: History of England vol 2: the Tudors - a book I needed to read for school (almost but not quite on MMD's list). This was quite heavy going. It was really important for me to read something else quite general about the Tudors, but I was sorry it was this. Unfortunately I was in Vietnam by the time I realised so it had to be read. I did not get on with his writing style. And Henry VII isn't even in there. Tutt had to be quite stern with me on several occasions through the summer to make me finish it.

8. Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall - a book that intimidates me. Everybody said it was a really difficult read but I did not find it so. I absolutely loved it: so much, that I had to slow down because I didn't want it to be over. I am savouring Bring up the Bodies and might wait until there's news of when the third will be published before I read it.

9. CJ Sansom: Dissolution - a book I have read before. It's been a while since I started the Shardlake series and this was a timely re-read after Wolf Hall. I was curious to know how much my increased knowledge of the time period would adjust my understanding of the book.

10. Melvin Burgess: Junk - a book that was once banned. I picked it off the banned books list I read during Banned Books week at the start of October, because it is (a) set in Bristol and (b) teen fiction, which I thought would make it quite good for bus reading. I finished it in just a few days. Very good in an utterly brutal kind of way; made better by the fact I cross City Road (site of Gemma and Tar's squat) every day.

11. Thackeray: Vanity Fair - a book I have previously abandoned. I started reading this again on my Kindle during my lunchbreak at work. I don't love it. It's so wordy. I'm still only about 20% finished with it, but I will keep plugging away. I quite like the story and, in amongst the verbosity, there's the odd good joke.

12. Jason Porath: Rejected Princesses - a book published this year. I pre-odered this from Amazon because it looked so good. It's a book all about forgotten female heroines, illustrated with big Disney-style pictures. I haven't read all of it but what I have dipped into has been great.

I twisted the "recommended" categories a little but otherwise I think I did quite well. I think this is probably the most I have read in one year for a while, at least; there are a few other books on here (mostly about the Tudors or the Spanish Empire) that I have read portions of, too.

Hopefully there will be another challenge along next year; or I might attempt this one again.

Monday 19 December 2016

Blue Monday

Now we approach the shortest day of the year, there is a dearth of light and brightness, and I feel like we have been living in fog for a considerable amount of time. Thus - Bristol's Castle Park in the spring.

And some bonus flowers, too.

These were the last pictures I took with my first Wileyfox Storm, before it mysteriously died on me and I had to have it replaced. I haven't had any problems with the second one, and I think it takes marvellous pictures.

Weekend WIP

Though desperate to cast on for one final sweater of the year, I just couldn't organise myself sufficiently enough to get pattern, yarn and variety of needles together for swatching this weekend, so I reverted back to the pinwheels instead.

Remember when I fondly opined, back in May, that just two pinwheels a week would see all the single skeins used up by the end of the summer? Yes, well, please try to forget I ever said that. On the plus side, at the start of the year I had knitted precisely two pinwheels and I have now reached the dizzy heights of 24, a dramatic 1200% increase. Even more exciting, that accounts for a stash-bust of approximately 800m, which pushes me over last year's total. WOO and indeed HOO.

This is the June 2014 LE, Lovely sheen to the pink sections, particularly.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Weekend FO

I finished this hat for Sib on the morning I had to give it to him. It really was the squishiest and most delicious knitted hat I think I have ever made.

Pattern: Antler Toque by Tin Can Knits.
Yarn: Suri Merino by Blue Sky Alpacas - just a bit more than a skein.
Needle: 4mm and 4.5mm. I didn't swatch but had a thought after I started knitting the ribbing, looked up other projects on Ravelry and went down from a 5mm accordingly.
Mods: None. I am afraid it was a bit too big - he said not, but the brim was turned a long way back. I might make it with one fewer cable repeat if I had a do-over.

I've got a skein of maroon that I could use to make a similar hat for his girlfriend when she comes over from Peru next month. That might be nice. I reckon if I went with a smaller size/fewer repeats then I could get it out of one skein.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Today I wish I was... one with my bed for more hours than I have been recently.
I saw this picture on Twitter today. I love it:

This was me in bed this morning. 'I am one with my bed. The bed is me. I am the bed. The day cannot see me. I am part of the bed.'

Throwback Thursday

Throwing back to an early school ski trip. I think this one must have been 2009. I paid for a private ski lesson with Jonty and Rara and this was the instructor:

(At least I hope this is him: I can't think why else I would have this picture. Now I look at it, that might be the instructor I had during my inspection visit in 2006. I think that was the only year I hired a jacket that looked like this. But let's say it's from 2009). I don't remember his name, but I still remember his final comment, in a thick Italian accent: "Not bad, for a woman."

Sauze is probably my favourite place to ski. I used to get the coach to drive us down to Bardonecchia, ostensibly for an afternoon's shopping but really so I could go in here and buy cakes:

Best cakes to be had for miles, and possibly the best chocolates I've ever eaten.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Scenes from the Classroom #28

I've had a successful teaching day today. My line manager told me that one of my sixth formers - a tricky one that I have been quite stern with - had told the head that I was a better teacher than him! Then one of the most difficult students in year 11, who I had several run ins with at the start of the year, actually found me after her history lesson today to share something with me that she thought I'd find funny. I was really touched.

Everybody's getting a bit sleepy and ratty at the end of term, so I am afraid I might find tomorrow is not as filled with wins. But today has been good.

Monday 12 December 2016

Blue Monday

This week, a splendid church in Crete, with blue accents, against a blue sky.

Greek Orthodox, I suppose. I tried to explain the many splinters among the Christian church to a year 8 group today, but I got a bit lost. I'm better on the splinters from the Catholic church.

There were some epic views in Crete. Whilst snapping this one I was distracted by ringing cow bells in the valley. Must have been goats but I couldn't see any. Still remember how bizarre it was.

Sunday 11 December 2016

Weekend WIP

Rustling up a quick hat for Sibling Hand for Christmas. It's in some luscious Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino. Two skeins of this appeared in the Get Knitted bargain bucket (a very long time ago) but April snapped them up before I could get there. She promised that she would sell them to me if she hadn't touched them in a year, and they duly passed my way.

It's deliciously soft but knitting up slightly fluffier than I anticipated.

Also, this is six repeats and the pattern calls for nine before decreasing.

I think nine might be excessive.

Saturday 10 December 2016

Strictly: My Dance of the Night

Finally, Claudia and AJ's dance was the one I rewound to watch:

They were all fantastic, but this had such bounce and joy in it. It even beat that incredible leap at the end of Danny and Oti's American Smooth (just).

I am very concerned that it will be Louise and Claudia in the dance off and pretty sure Claudia is going to be eliminated. Annoying, because her show dance would have been off the hook.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Throwback Thursday

I quietly retired the bulk of my old website some time ago now; it was old and decrepit and full of slightly suspect pictures and headache-inducing backgrounds I'd created using the very exciting tile tool, circa 1997. It did prompt me to look back through some very old pictures though: specifically the ones taken with my very first digital camera, that Father Hand bought for me during my stay with him in 2001. It was probably something like a third of a megapixel in resolution, but I thought it was marvellous and took it everywhere and photographed everything.

These are both the Hand parents standing together, next to Badwater, Death Valley. April 2001. I made the picture big but now it is blurry. Still one of my favourite pictures ever. This was the first time I'd had both parents together in about seven years.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Today I wish I was...

Take me back to Vietnam.

When I woke up this morning, I thought it was Saturday. When I realised that the alarm going off indicated this could not be the case, I decided it was at least Friday. Brutal.

I urgently require:
a) a long lie-in in a big fluffy bed
b) to feel sand between my toes (without getting stabbed by a dead fish)
c) an afternoon nap with a trashy magazine
d) to hang out with Tutt for a time when we don't just talk about work

I'm just under-snoozed, really. Work isn't too bad. That could go on for ages, if I could just get myself into bed before 11pm 3-4 nights a week.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Scenes from the Classroom #27

As a trainee, I remember marking year 7 exams. One student had written, in answer to the question "What is a reeve?" - "A baker." The history teacher who was marking alongside me said, 'That's quite clever really - it's not right, but the local baker is called Reeve's.'

I was reminded of that this week. A girl in my history club made a poster about the Boston Tea Party for our "This month in History" display. She researched the event and everything, but she still thought it was a cafe. "The first Boston Tea Party opened because the Americans did not want to pay the tax on tea. Originally, the cafe was called The Destruction of the Tea in Boston."

Boston Tea Party is a local cafe chain, with a branch a few hundred feet away from school. The mind boggles, though.

Tuesday Ten

Ten things I like about December

1. The weather. Unpopular I know, but I like it when it is cold and dark. I get to wear all of my handknits and I don't overheat running for the bus. When I was walking home tonight it was still foggy and had just got properly dark, and the air was like velvet.

2. Being able to get away with wearing a Santa hat. Instant cheer.

3. The Christmas work wind-down. There's a race to get everything done before the holidays that makes me really productive.

4. The (seemingly now annual) Christmas shopping trip to The Most Middle Class Service Station In England, ie the one of the M5 near Gloucester. We went last year, bought, ate, then drove to the next junction and stopped at the one on the other side on the way back. Epic cheese. Great gin.

5. The school Christmas party/night out. Being so tired it feels like your face is swollen but also abandoning all cares because you know that it doesn't matter how late a night it is, you've got two weeks off. Of course, all my holidays are welcome, but the winter one especially so.

6. Christmas decorations. Especially robins. Making an effort to light the scented candles and the tea lights and switch the lava lamp on. Tinsel and Christmas cards.

7. Christmas Lush. Their Christmas range has been something for me to pore over for at least a decade now. I miss when Aliboo and I used to go to the first day of their sale and sit on the doorstep with cookies and hot water bottles from 7am to get the best bargains. We stopped doing that around the time they started opening on Boxing Day, but I still try to buy myself a Christmas box each December...not least because I like to use them for yarn storage.

8. Carols. Quite excited that my new school has a compulsory carol concert. I'm looking forward to hooting my way through God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

9. Epic Christmas food prep. The lemon curd. The mincemeat chelsea buns. The tunis cake. Having the time to make croissants. Eating almost nothing but satsumas, cold meat, cheese and pickles for 10 days in a row. Delightful.

10. Being able to veg. I sometimes complain that Christmas is irritating because it gets in the way of a perfectly good holiday - shopping and life admin is made more difficult by having several days in the middle where everything stops. But I think that's a bit humbug of me. If there are ever a few days when doing nothing is entirely permissible, I think this is them.
Except my tax return. That still needs to be done.

Monday 5 December 2016

Blue Monday

It's been frosty and cold of late (though apparently this is about the change). It put me in mind of the winter of 2010, when it was foggy for about 5 days and there was frost upon frost upon frost. Delightfully pretty, though not delightful to drive in.

Not blue in the most traditional sense, but my fingers certainly were.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Weekend FO: Stripey Cardigan

I finally finished the button band for this yesterday at knitting group, and then weaved in all the ends and sewed on the buttons last night.

Pattern: Shapely Boyfriend, by Stefanie Japel via Knitty
Yarn: Fivemoons Diana Aran - 50% merino, 50% silk, 100% snug delight. Somewhere approaching seven skeins.
Needle: 5mm, 4mm
Mods: I don't think I went on for quite as long in the body as she suggests (in a complete break with tradition). I knitted the sleeves longer so I could have fold back cuffs. I added (I think) one additional row to the button band to make up for the big buttons.

I am a big fan of the silvery buttons, which add just the right amount of bling in my opinion. We agree yesterday at knitting group that five looked better than six, so I have one to spare which is now sitting patiently in a drawer; but when I examined all the ones from the card, this one turned out to have a large crack in it, so perhaps it is for the best anyway.

I thought these were the first buttons I ever bought from Brimstone but my Ravelry stash page lists them as from Now Beads. I have never even heard of Now Beads. I'm going with Brimstone because the handwriting on the card was the same.

Stash-diving: a shameful confession

This evening I had cause to rummage through my stash at length. I was in search of some Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, now wound ready for a hat for Sib. This wasn't listed on my index cards, so I doggedly searched through box after box of yarn, assuming I had forgotten to list it in the last reorganisation.

It wasn't until I reached the last box that I realised its omission was probably due to the fact it was stored in the secret compartment under the boxes of yarn. This holds most of my delinquent WIPs, the Rowan Damask I stockpiled upon its discontinuation and a number of other yarn purchases I have moreorless forgotten about. I rummaged deep.

In the process of this rummaging, my hand, delved deep into the depths of the compartment, hit upon a tangle. It was a big'un. I was...

Sorry about the thumb blur. I think my hands were shaking.

Because there were TWO of them.

Long-time readers of the blog may recall my triumphant post of September last year, in which I declared that the Yorkshire Tweed was all wound, and in which I stipulated a stash of roughly 1500m. At the time I remember feeling a bit sad as the realisation that this had not been the bargain I thought it was, having spent £30 on the original purchase. It's looking a bit more bargainous now, I must admit.

I haven't told Mr Z yet. I'm not sure our marriage is strong enough to withstand the news.

In other news, I must make sure this Christmas's reorganisation and cataloguing of stash includes absolutely every last ball.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Strictly: My Dance of the Night

(In a repetition of last week's bungle, I inadvertently forgot to hit publish on this one. Forgive me my tardiness.)

This week was musicals week and, while I really wanted to pick Claudia and AJ as they are my favourites, in the end, I found Louise and Kevin more entertaining. And it is an entertainment show, after all.

I do love musicals. I thought the whole episode was really well put together.

Friday 2 December 2016


In my ongoing effort to remain at least somewhat down with the kids, I've been playing with Dubsmash a bit this year. It's really simple. There's a soundtrack, you mime over it, that's basically it.

There was the tribute.

There was 'trying to be funny late on a Friday night'

There were the school trips.

There was being Maria.

Luckily for you, that is all I have downloaded. There were several musical ones and even one involving the cat. To say I have fun with it would be an understatement.

In related news, my Snapchat experimentation buddy Vikki and I have had a great week playing with the voice changer filters and having some competitive teacher whinging. Suffice to say we find each other highly amusing.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Throwback Thursday

This song cycled round on my mp3 player on the way home this afternoon. I drove Mother Hand absolutely nuts when this came out by recording it off the radio onto a tape and playing it over and over again in the car. I think this must have been the summer we went to Cornwall. That's a long car journey.

Anyway, because I'm a geek there's a line in this that makes me chuckle about how dated it is. The second verse is all about how he thinks his best friend probably knocked up his wife. Very hmmm. But he points out that they were so close they had the same blood type.

Pre-genome, of course. That was the only way you could test paternity, back in the day (explained for the benefit of any youngsters).

It does make me chuckle. Makes very little sense now. Still quite enjoy listening to it, though.