Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More green beads

These are the last (for the time being!) I am moving on to other colours, all greened out. Well, apart, perhaps from the big green gobstoppers, but they aren't quite the same. The one on the left is the herringbone spiral that I started at the class I took a couple of weeks ago, that on the right a dutch spiral with a seed-crystal-seed trio for the outer beads. Nothing complicated, just - green....

more green beads

And if you look very carefully, you will see a liberal coating of cat hairs, as can be found on every other surface in this house, up to and including me.

And (I think that being told firmly never, ever to start a sentence with "and" at school doomed me that construction for ever more) it is a bloody COLD. Whichever kind person at Woolfest passed it on to me, may your little wooly socks rot on your feet! Actually, it does appear to be a faster than a speeding bullet summer variety of the same, and should be barely noticeable by Saturday evening for the pre-nuptual partification, not to mention the ceremony itself on Sunday. Why are so many marriages these days on Sundays? Seems odd to me.

I am to some extent envious of people who either get married more than once, and therefore have more than one bash to enjoy; or who are religious and do the renewal of vows bit, ditto. I quite fancy doing the whole thing over again now that I am of mature years and could enjoy it properly. We did have a very nice silver wedding supper party, but not quite the same thing. Perhaps inspiration will strike before the fortieth....

Me, my cold and the DSM are going to an Arts Festival event tonight, a lecture, "Wesker on Wesker" Should be interesting. I have to admit to not having seen exactly many Wesker plays, but a bit of the old intellectual stimulation never did anyone any harm. At least I am not coughing or sneezing...drat, shouldn't have said that!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Woolfest and beyond

I had really and truly intended to write up the blog yesterday, or Sunday evening, but in the event - it just didn't happen. On the way home, the final stages fortunately, we were stuck in traffic and Pete, never ever one to admit to a problem with the car, suddenly informed me that there was a funny noise.

Yes, that is how mechanically savvy we both are!

We did stop a couple of times, peer in a would-be intelligent fashion under the bonnet, whatever. Decided to limp home, which we did safely. But as I refused to manage without my car yesterday, he had to take an extra day off work, so between the tiredness, the heat and the husband, I didn't really get to the computer.

Better late than never - but to get the other bit of less than perfectness out of the way, I either I have galloping hay fever, or more likely, I have picked up a cold at Woolfest, dammit. I absolutely hate summer colds, and I absolutely have to be in Cambridge this weekend for Liz's wedding come what may, so fingers crossed.

Now. Woolfest. Absolutely fabulous. Wonderfully. Brilliant. I haven't heard a bad word about it from either a vendor or a visitor. The atmosphere there was super, really buzzing, very happy. Friday was fairly busy, lots of people around, but our trade didn't seem brisk, shall we say. But when we totted up the takings in the evening, we ere very pleasantly surprised. However, the Saturday was hectic in the extreme, we never stopped, and neither did Freyalynn when she did a stint for us. (For which we were very grateful, we really need the break, and the Jennings, our old favourite ale, was particularly good in the bar at the auction mart.)

We met loads of old friends, mostly fibre ones, but a couple from our pre-spinning days when we lived in Cockermouth, who amazingly recognised us. We did very well with our spindles and fibre, learned a lot about what works and what doesn't - for instance, arranging our little space so that people could walk in to it rather than having a "counter" across the front like some did definitely worked well. And, there is an appetite for dyed soy silk, to my great surprise! We are most certainly going to go again - the organisers, who did a fantastic job, have funding for another couple of years. Who says Europe is not a good thing, eh?!?

Couple of funny things I want to record, although I suppose I hadn't better name names. One small trader stopped to chat (we know them quite well) said they were feeling a little unwell, so I offered a seat for a few minutes, whereupon they took over an interaction with a customer and tried to persuade her to go with them to their own stall to look at their spindles! Apparently, they are notorious for such, but next time, I would offer an arm back to their own bloody pitch - grrrr!

And then, GrannyW holds the moral high ground! I knew that this would at long last be the meeting with the dreaded - lets say VM, just for a giggle. I saw her from a distance several times on Friday, and then just before the end of the day, I was standing chatting with a couple of friends, when I realised she was walking straight for us. I pinned a small smile on my face, looked directly at her and was all prepared to say a polite "hello" - when she walked right past me, eyes averted! Well. Hot damn, what a wuss! No mistake, it was deliberate, the pair I was talking to noticed, and asked what it was about. So she has neither to courage or the courtesy to face me - yee-hah! (What an unseemly display on my part, I do apologise!)

So, a good time, a really good time. Couple of pics:

Woolfest again

Layout improved over the two days, and we have thoughts on how to get better still. Tried to persuade local telly to film the DSM spindling, but they wouldn't bite. Shame.

Then this - the double fronted pet supply store -


is where we used to have our fabric shop. I peered in through the window, and it looked just the same inside.

That was a long time ago!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Just before I go....

Much to my amazement, the DSM has managed to squeeze every last thing in to the car, including the pile of pegloomed rugs that I have been asked to take for a friend. They will make sure that the booth is full to busting and very colourful, which can't be bad! Quite what driving the car is going to be like, I don't know, but that may be his problem. (I can be so unfair when I try.)

Being me, I am feeling decidely squeamish about all this, but I got myself in to it, and it Will Be Fun.

Talking about getting myself in to year is one of those birthdays, and I have decided to have a year-long celebration. And browsing the local rag on Friday, I saw the most amazing thing, perfect for getting me well in to the swing of things. At the end of March, there is a total eclipse of the sun, visible from Southern Turkey, and trips are being organised out one day, back the next. I booked this morning! Having never recovered from the experience of the one that was so conveniently in this country on my real and actual birthday a few years back, well, this seemed meant. I will worry about paying for it later!

And finally, the photo of the Victorian paisley silk shawl, with Freyalynn as crinoline. Too cute.



Sunday, June 19, 2005

Be careful what you wish for - and a Grand Day Out

I have this vision of an exasperated Mother Nature, or some flock of pissed off dryads, or something, finally losing patience with me. "Right. You are forever whingeing n about how cold it is - see how you like THIS. Harrumph." And much more in similar vein.

So from shivering, freezing cold, we went to high 70s and humidity off the scale in the twinkling of an eye. Someone melted down some jelly sandals and poured the goo over me, thus creating a body armour that never quite set and kept me feeling liquid-warm. Blergh. And the interior of the house being much cooler than the outside, the humidity hit the walls and tiled floor and promptly went into swamp mode, I've been paddling indoors all day. Totally disgusting. This afternoon, the storms arrived, and thunder muttered sullenly around the house for hours. In the middle of all this, the Computer Professional was doing something or other - a Tesco's order I think - when he said in a quaverery voice "Ooh, what's that?" and before I could tell him that it was an annoying AOL thing, and just to switch it off by hitting the little red cross in the top right corner, he hit instead the box marked "disable". Would you really think that this....person has been in computers since 1968?? You Just Don't Do That. And if you do, you should know enough to know that somewhere in the bowels of the computer, there would be a switch that corresponding says "enable".

Fortunately, AOL do have a very good help line.......and equally fortunately, it does even up the score with the dumbcluck who has put the door key down somewhere totally unfindable, necessitating a complete change of lock....such is a happy Sunday chez nous.

Yesterday was a different kettle of fish all together. It was the guild day, and we were al bringing in our textile or textile related treasures. It was great, definitely to be recommended to others. Too many to mention all, but I particularly liked the 1930s school velour hat that had withstood seven years of education and two generations worth of dressing up box. And the lilac paisley printed shawl designed to go over a crinoline, said crinoline ably impersonated by our Freyalynn.

I took two items. The first was a cloth - so I had been told - that lived on a side table in out Edwardian terrace in Cockermouth, after my sister found it at a jumble sale and gave it to me. It got thrown in to the washing machine a few times before someone, I forget who, pointed out to me that it probably was a Victorian shawl. It is wool, with a woven paisley pattern, someone yesterday thought maybe a Norwich, but whether it is a shawl to be worn or a piano shawl, we have no idea. I need to take it somewhere to find out. Here it is:

paisley shawl 2


paisley shawl

The second thing that I took was this:


I was given this several years ago as a house gift by Ed Franquemont, who has to have been one of the best house guests anyone could ever hope for. Appreciative, helpful, a brilliant conversationalist and to give me this as well.......He did tell us at the time what it is called, but all Pete could remember was that it had a lot of "llls" in it. I did a google, and found it, most often called a manta, which is not surprising as the other name is practically unpronounceable for a lot of us. Someone yesterday who used to teach Spanish was being very doubtful about the versions I had found - something like "llijla" -but I have to confess my ignorance. But it is a great piece of work, and a good reminder of time spent with a lovely person.

Other than all that, as if that isn't enough, we have been packaging fibre and Writing Lists. Oh, and a little bit of gentle panicking...


Thursday, June 16, 2005


Today is 16 June, right? So, like, (sorry, can't resist, sometimes) yesterday I am sitting there shivering with a sweatshirt on, I add a heavy wool waistcoat and am still cold, so top the lot off with my nice cosy orange shawl and finally get something approaching comfortable. This is me, who doesn't feel the cold. I know that age just might have a little to do with it, but really, not as much as this. And I also know that I am not the only one moaning about it. All across the country, people I know are complaining about having the central heating on in June. Not just here, either. Out on what another blogger calls a blog jog, which is such a cool phrase that I may just shamelessly steal it in perpetuity, I keep coming across others out there bemoaning the unseasonable weather, emphasis on the "moan" bit, so I should just shut up now and go get another layer.

I had a very early start today, had volunteered to take H to Elland again for an 8.30 appointment. She does now know what is up, and has the options. Don't envy her having to make the choice, but the odds on surgery being successful are good, so maybe......But that means that I have a good start on the day, so have no excuse not to Bake a Cake for coven tonight. Damn. And also to retrieve the pearl bead bracelet from the dark corner that I flung it in to when it went wrong yet again. I just do not get it, it is not a difficult project, not complex, rather. Other people have done it successfully, seemingly. And yet, no matter how careful I am with the tension, it goes wrong. The extra seed bead to tension against every couple of pearl beads was working well until I came to change threads again. Then ptui. And in attempting to tighten things up, I broke the effing thread again. Is it worth it? I dunno. Don't wanna be beat. There is, I think, a Beadwork pattern somewhere that I might have a look at that is similar, otherwise, one more go, using doubled thread this time, and that, one way or another will be it.

Speaking of Beadwork - or rather, Interweave - it has been sold. To what is presented in the press release as a nice small "we appreciate your unique, folksy style" company, but which is really part of a much larger money-making organisation. I feel the cold finger of "progress" in the marrow of my bones. Given the changes that have been apparent over the last year or two...well, I see more of the same. Ah, well, everything changes.

Believe it of not, there is fibre in my life, but I am simply chuntering along with a couple of projects and have nothing exciting to document. The merino and silk that I am spinning is thankfully nearly finished, and then I shall spin for another beaded bag. And the crocheted waistcoat is, it seems, going well - I am on to the second front now, and have plenty of yarn left, always a plus point. As I work on the very simple bare bones structure, I am trying to think what details I could add to turn it in to a work of art, and no inspiration comes. I suppose that it might, at a later date.

The fibre for Woolfest has arrived, praise be! Now we just have to bag it all up, but it does mean that we will have a full stall - now we just have to sell some of it. Preparations for this may take me quite a bit of the next week, and then we will be away. I shall either not blog at all, or keep coming back here to let off steam!


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Non-stop activity

Or at least, that is what it feels like.

OK, so I did say that I would post a photo of the pearl bracelet. So, you could have one of a little pile of pearls beads and seed beads if you like.

The second day of the beading class was good as far as it went, nice chat, several more tips and tricks to pick up, whatever. All was going swimmingly until I came to fasten off the old thread and join in a new one - all of a sudden, the tension was lost at one place, and I had a lot of little beads all strung out (I knew just how they felt) with bare thread in between. The tutor had no idea how it happened or what to do about it - and that is not a criticism, neither did I and I can't imagine anyone would have. The only thing to do was to start all over again. With hindsight, I was wondering if I could have left a loop of thread which somehow freed up, and that could indeed be the case. But when I came to try again yesterday, the tension was threatening to go very loose on me again, so I'm not so sure. I am going to attempt it a third time, but try somehow to put in an extra step, a seed bead or a stitch to lock the tension every few pearls. If that doesn't work, maybe do a peyote band or tube and add the pearl beads over that. I really don't want to be beaten by this.

Anyhow, I digress. I did start one more project, a rather pretty peyote band necklace, with bronze and burgundy delicas, supposed to have just a few decorative touches joining the bands together. But working on it, I realised that I don't do delicate. It's going to change somehow. I have a rather nice oval focal bead that came, I think, from Jazzy Lily, with similar colours in this space.

So now we arrive at Tuesday, and I went to Backburn to visit a friend and go to a textile exhibition. I had fully expected not to like it, after the previous "modern" one at the Bankfield that I had been to.

The blurb: Viv Scott will be showing her new work in fibre and mixed media.
Over the past 25 years VivĂ‚’s work in textile art has evolved to include the incorporation of weaving, embroidery, print, paint, latex, and found objects and now to incorporate hard materials within her work. Textiles fibres came to be two and three dimensionally interlocked with solid clay and metals with influence from architecture. Forms take unexpected outlines, angles, curves, closed lines and open spaces; all combine to create a visual and sensual language which makes the sense of touch a new and important element.

I liked it. By and large. That was a nice surprise. Not all of it, but a lot was very interesting. I particularly liked work called the "Indigo series", smallish pieces of various fabrics that had been somehow treated with latex or clay, then rolled - it was interesting to see recognisable textile, but modified in this way, to be quite distinctly hard clay or flexible rubber. It somehow affected how cloth might endure, and rolling the pieces gave an echo of scrolls and thus the carrying information, which textile does, of course, but maybe most people don;t think of it like that.

I wish I had pictures, but although I have googled, I can't find anything on the web, the Museum had no leaflet or post cards, and I forgot to take my camera.

Oy oy, I have more I wouldn't mind saying, but it's bedtime and I'm tired. The DSM is away tonight on another work-related jolly, a leaving do, I think, and I don't usually sleep too well on these occasions, so I will hi me to my couch and perchance will slumber the night away with the sweet soothing sound of two cats snoring in my ear.

A fair night to you all, good gentles.

(And just WTF has got into her, then?)


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Two down

So, it's Saturday evening, and the end of the second of three days at Alston. Yesterday was my regular class, although the lion's share of the work was done by Magrat, who I had inveigled in to teaching a class on fine spinning on my behalf. It went down a storm, she had prepared a very good class, the group liked it very much and also appreciated having someone different for a change. I didn't just sit on my hands - I got to spend time with the two embroiderers, spinning silk and plying; and also with a newcomer and new spinner, who looks as if she is going to be ace, plus a few of the now regulars who are less experienced and really need a little more individual attention that I can usually give. So this worked out well for everyone. It is a continual challenge to come up with fresh and interesting classes over and over again as the months and years go by - the group remains pretty much the same - new people are coming in, either for just a few sessions, more rarely just one and then vanish with rapidity, or sometimes they just join the gang and keep on a-comin'. At the moment, the class is full every month, in fact over-full, another challenge. So someone, somewhere must be doing something right!

Today, though, the boot was on the other foot and I was the student, slightly spookily in the room I usually teach in myself. I'm doing a two day beading class, a real treat. The tutor is very highly regarded locally, and indeed she is a very pleasant woman, is handling a large and diverse group with ease and is good at responding when shouted for - she is spending a lot of the class time with the couple of complete beginners who are members, but is always listening out for any of the rest of us who shriek, and does the rounds regularly anyway. The format is that she has brought a lot of pieces she has worked, with the instructions and materials available to make any of them. I chose to start with a spiral herringbone, which is going well, but I decided that I didn't want to spend the entire two days just doing that. So I got her to show me how to fix the end-cap - basically, superglue!! And then I chose another design, a pearl thing that I think may be similar to one that was in Beadwork a while back, and I will attempt to complete that tomorrow. Maybe. Perhaps. It's a bit self-indulgent - I think if I do beading classes in future, I will pick ones where there is a set project to learn set techniques - but I am having fun, so what the hell.

Not to mention that it gives the DSM some time to himself to play in the garden, which he has done to great advantage, although just why he had a rush of blood to the head and bought a large blue pot for some plant or other, I forget which, when all the others are brown or green, I really don;t know. But as he cooked me penne with asparagus, smoked salmon and creme fraiche for supper, I ain't complaining. I might just bugger orf for the weekend more often!

Pics tomorrow, maybe. Or Monday.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Musings, none of a fibrous nature

Driving back from the supermarket run, beautiful day, I'm wearing my mirror sunglasses that came oh-so-cheap from a $$ store in the States last autumn. I got to do today what I love doing - to put my shades on as I drive along. Such a silly little thing, but in the days when I wore glasses all the time, changing from one pair to another whilst continuing to drive was totally impossible. The few seconds of myopic absence rendered it potentially lethal!

I see as I drive through Friendly - we have some good community/village/whatever names around here - a line of little chickies, swallow-babies all blue-bloused and black-shorted, fluffy and innocent (at least one would like to think so, but unless schoolgirls have changed in the last forty years - not)perched on a low wall. Fluttering gently, as the young woman who must have been their sports teacher swung gaminely around a lamp-post trying to seem cool and trying to engender in them some enthusiasm for sport. Probably running, as they were out in the wild, and under that great blue sky. One for the UK list.

Hebden Bridge - where I do not quite live - has come top on another list. Not content with being both gay-friendly and internationally funky (I kid you not) it now is the least clone-afflicted town in the country. No River Islands, Dorothy Perkins, Nexts or Starbucks for us! Actually, Starbucks would have a hard time of it if they wanted to come here, which they won't, as we have at least fifteen coffee or tea shops already (it may actually be more, I lost count at fifteen a couple of years ago. Plus I can just imagine the demonstrating and campaigning that would ensue if they tried it - positively Starbucks Wars....

It is a funny old day. Not really quite sure why, lots of little things. Woke up with the black crow of anxiety well and truly ensconced, but am learning slowly that the trick (partially successful) is to simply ignore it.

So, bright and early this morning, a large party of folk with shovels and pickaxes arrived outside the house. It was all I could do not to fling wide the window and warble a chorus of "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work &etc", but I forbore. Being of a brightish nature, I realised that the Trust were coming to put the drainage channel in, indeed, it transpired, two. At this point I decided that the better part of valour was to go to the supermarket and let them get on with it.

When I got back, I was not able to cross the work-in-progress, but had to abandon the car until told otherwise. Unbeknownst to me, H was the other side of the construction zone, so came panting up desperate for coffee. Meanwhile, the Troll was out there rampaging and what is more taking photographs, thus giving me carte blanche to get my digital out next time she plays her tricks. I didn't do that this afternoon, when she shot herself totally in the foot by haranguing the Trust people about there not being a Right of Way. Yippee! Grist to our mill.

All this excitement has left little time for fibre pursuits, so nothing has gone on other than completing the first front of the waistcoat - so far so good - and starting the back. This has no design yet. It may develop one on the fly. Tomorrow is Alston, with Magrat, then two more days at Alston, not teaching but beading. Should be good. Knackering - with all the driving - but good.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sample, sample

That's what we are supposed to do. So I cast on my shetland yarn, and pored over the pattern for the whatever-it-was lace. Got three-quarters of the way along the row when a cat jumped on to my lap and did the favourite trick of getting the yarn wrapped around at least one back leg, thereby preventing me from continuing knitting without running the risk of causing gangrene in the limb concerned. Or something. Oh, and don't ask, just don't, why it would not be possible to remove said cat and retrieve yarn, or vice versa. It Isn't. For one thing, I do not remove cats, no matter what discomfort or inconvenience they may be causing me - they are the boss, and I would only Suffer For It later. And, any attempts would only engender a state of total panic in whichever animal it was, meaning that the yarn would become even more tangled and the panic levels would rise and spread and the yarn would.....I don't really need to say any more, do I?

So, here is a photo of my grey shetland yarn knitted cable/lace/whatever shawl sample.

crocheted shetland yarn


Now, I have, as I have written before, a kind of love-hate feeling about crochet. I used to do a lot of it years ago, and still enjoy the physical act of it. But nearly every time I attempt it, I don't like the look of it and end up ripping it out and doing something else. But somehow, this time...maybe it's because I though I was going to be knitting and only tried the crochet as an afterthought? No, that's too fanciful by half. Somehow, this yarn must be just right in terms of grist, twist, relationship to hook size chosen. Whatever it is, so far so good, and it may grow up to be a waistcoat if all goes well.

Ain't life the weirdest thing....


Monday, June 06, 2005

It's Monday again

I like them better when they are Bank Holidays! But at least we have seen a little sun today, and I gather the promise of more to come.

Yesterday was dampish and chilly-ish, although it did improve as the day wore on. I started out with another trip to the hospital at Elland for poor H to be MRI'd. Rather her than me, all those awful warnings about bits of metal in the body -what about the fillings, eh?

Then spent some time beading. Before we went to France, I googled a few things including "bead shops" and found that there was supposedly one in Toulouse. We did indeed find it on the day we went in. Interesting - not a bead shop as we might know it, but an irresistible cornucopia of luscious Indian beads in a gorgeous jewel range of colours. You know the sort of thing, cheap glass beads, but rich and glittery in appearance, and the pieces that they had on display made with them were quite wonderful. I didn't feel it was exactly the thing to go around the store photographing all of them, and I also didn't feel that I wanted to spend too many euros, but I couldn't leave empty-handed, could I, now? I rather liked some very simple bracelets they had for sale, and I knew I could copy that design, so I got beads to do two of them, plus a handful of great big green gobstoppers for a necklace. Viz:




I am not all that turned on by simple stringing, although with the great beads around, you can certainly make some good things. But these needed to come home with me, and I don't think require a complicated treatment!

The bead email list I am on was reporting a rumour that "Beadwork" is moving over almost entirely to stringing, and it certainly does look to be the case, which is a terrible shame. Might force me to swap to Bead & Button, but as ever the awkward one, I don't like it as well. (It is a fact of life that if there is a minority counter-position to take, then guess who is in there....the EC, any political or social issue,books, plays. I don't know if I was born ornery, or became so for the adrenalin-rush.

Fibre-wise, yesterday found me tearing out my hair. At the SOAR market last year, I for some totally unknown reason bought two balls of a "fancy" yarn, kid silk haze stranded with a variety of other fancy yarns. I don't usually buy yarn at all, I spin enough of my own (or did)but this seduced me. I got it out the other day and started playing with it, and it sucks. Starts out ok with nice funky glittery bits, but then segues in to furry stuff, of which a little goes a long way and I am all furried out. Plus, although I will have bought it with something in mind, I can't think that two balls is enough for anything I want to do. So, do I a) knit something for my mama; b)stick it back in the box; or c) put it up on ebay? (Leaning towards the latter.....)

So, what to knit? Dragged out a large quantity of grey shetland, spun some time back. Can't find a waistcoat that inspires, but oh guess what, it would make a great shawl, in the quasi-faroese mould, but this time with maybe a cable around the neck edge, and something in the centre panel. I have found a veryveryvery simple lace stitch that doesn't really look lacy, just textured. I am sampling. I am barking mad.

I continue to spin the merino/silk blend on my new wheel, which I am beginning to bond well with. I was immensely cheered last Thursday to find that Freyalynn (I would link to her blog, but she only wrote one post in it, last November, which is a dam' shame as she could put up photos of all the LOVELY WORK she does ahem)also finds it a bear to spin well. Don't really understand why it won't draft out evenly, it should do, merino and silk should be a perfectly ok combo. Ah, well.

Onward and upward.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Gentle snoring may be heard

Well, not quite. I've got the matchsticks out again. For some reason, yesterday was a long and tiring day - I took H over to the BUPA hospital at Elland for an appointment about her back, and now have to do the chauffeur bit twice more, for an MRI and a followup. But I don't mind, she's in agony, and I'm only repaying what she did for me when I couldn't;t drive. anyhoo, after a thrilling bout of speed ironing before the DSM ran out of shirts, I did go to the coven meeting as I hadn't seen anyone for ages. It was at Freyalynn's - fine, got there ok, no probs, had a nice time poking my tongue out at her first attempts at tablet weaving. Feh. Some people are just too dam' talented (yes, I know, jealousy is an ugly thing....) But on the way back in the dark, I managed to lose my way three if not four times, and didn't get home until midnight, by which time I was of course, a pumpkin. Still, I am VERY pleased with myself, I didn't panic. Even when I had absolutely NO IDEA where I was, except that it was a lonely moorland road...What else are mobile phones for, eh, except that I didn't actually need to use mine. Maybe as a consequence, I had some deeply unpleasant dreams involving some ghastly plague from outer space, which thankfully, it transpired, I was immune to but this was not ascertained until the end of the lengthy dream sequence.....And then I had to get up early because the washing machine man was coming....

OK, let's have a picture to cheer ourselves up. Whilst on holiday, we went to the local offie, but were faced with a huge array of wines to choose from. We did ask for local stuff to narrow it down somewhat, but there was still a lot. Pete being the perfect gent that he is, absolutely insisted that half the choice should be mine - so I resorted to the Sara principle of wine selection:

(no subject)

Aren't they pretty? It worked, too - nice wines!

So, sue me, I haven't finished organising the photo - too many, too much time needed. I will get there one day. Things keep interrupting me. Like the Trollsaga. I can't resist a quick update - like yesterday's visit from the new boss-guy (oh, ha! Literally, his name is Guy!) promising action, yippee! And then this afternoon's visit from the Community Police Ossifer, such a sweetie (did I really say that???)dispensing sympathy and likewise promising action, albeit in a rather more watered down version. Still, even if they are only placating me, at least I now know who to run screaming to if I have to. Every little helps....

OK, to raise the tone, couple more pics.

This is the necklace I completed whilst away:


And a close-up


And this is the bracelet that I started, and finished this week. It is the same design from Beadwork that I did for my first ever bead piece (apart from the amulet bag kit) and liked so much, I vowed to repeat. I found the pretty green AB daggers at GJ in St Ives, just right for this. I love it, well, both pieces. Just wish there were more hours in the day. (The blue background is a woad-syed shawl from Bleu-de-Lectoure, by the way.)

(no subject)

Now - tea, I need tea.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I've got my shawl to keep me warm

And it's a bloody good job, too. It's freezing here, today. It is the first of June and I have just caved and put the central heating on. It's cold, grey and pouring with rain. I want to go back here:


This is a distant view of the gite we stayed in, not the most exciting view in the world, but look! You can see blue sky! And have to know that it is warmer than Midgehole!

I don't have a photo of the shawl. It's the orangey one, just finished (almost - couple of ends need darning in) It looks very nice, large and snuggly. No wonder I keep on knitting shawls, in this damn climate. By which I mean that I have immediately cast on another simple one, but this time of some commercial yarn that I bought at SOAR last year, and it will be purely decorative. Yes, I'll do some photos - and finishing sorting out the French ones - sometime, asap, whatever. But I'm playing Ms Efficiency and getting some actual work done, article and workshop proposals and such. I have finished the green bracelet, too, so I am actually quite pleased with myself. Shows the benefit of a nice relaxing WARM holiday.

I have also put some more stuff up on ebay - spent a bit of time yesterday morning after discussing the book at the Tuesday morning book group just chatting, and another woman there was a mad keen ebayer, so I got all enthused again. Besides, some money would be useful! I only do this at a trickle, but it is surprising how it mounts up. One of the pleasures of discovering this Book Group is how many other shared interests we have. It is a small and fluctuating group, but there is another textile enthusiast (who quite fancies a road-trip to Wingham) as well as the ebayer. Various other points of similarity amongst us as well. It may be that for some reason, all the oddballs have for once rolled in to the same corner. (And I do mean that in the nicest possible way!)

The Troll saga continues gently. I'm not going to go on at length about it here, I have started another blog where I can vent in peace about it - and document everything. If it ever comes to anything approaching resolution, I will share!

For now, will someone please give me the sun back!