Archive for November, 2011


Hella busy

So as you can imagine, I’ve been crazy busy in the run-up to Saturday’s stall at Risby.

Below are a few of the things I’m taking with me to sell. Some of them you may have seen before.

Even if they’re not you’re cup of tea, I’d still love to say ‘hi’ and see some friendly faces. The market starts at 9am in Risby village hall, Suffolk, and finishes at 1pm. As an extra incentive, Bub will be there from mid-morning.

Please excuse the dodgy photos. Bub has been pulling herself up on things so time with the camera is limited. Eyes must be forever on her.

Other side of the same cushions.

The third cushion

Super-soft grown up people hats.

Various hats shaped like animals for little people.

A little tank-top with matching hat. There will be some girl clothes too.

I’ve also got some mug cozies, possibly a Bee Cozy and some little toy-animal stocking fillers.

Madness

“Madness, Mother,” Bub’s gaze seems to say, “Why would I want the oatcake when you’re eating a cookie?” She dives for the cookie and licks it before I can stop her. Smiles abound as she spends the next half hour sucking on the thing so as to better disolve its sugary goodness for ingestion.

Her mother is mad, though not just on the oatcakes vs cookie front. I will be selling crafts I am yet to create at the Risby Farmers’ Market…

… on the first Saturday in December. It seemed ages away last night when I said I’d do it, but today, sitting down to knit, it occurs to me just how soon it is. You may not hear from me until it’s all over. You may, on the other hand, hear lots from me as I procrastinate. In any case, if you’re in the area that day and fancy saying ‘hi’, do come by and have a nosey at the organised people who will actually have products at their stalls…

Milk

So, I went out to buy milk today and might have come back with a chest.

It was a matter of life and death, though. Last night, getting up to tend to screaming Bub at 3am, I nearly broke my neck falling over husband’s sports bag which had been ceremoniously dumped in its usual ‘home’ in the bedroom door. I’ve been saying I’ll find somewhere to put it for ages, but when I stumbled upon a little padded chest at the Risby Antique Barn for £25.

Not only does it house the bag of doom, but it also holds Bub’s nappy bag, whilst the padding makes it feel more like a chair and in turn, the hall feel more like a room. I don’t know if it’ll stay there, or if it’ll go beneath our bedroom windowsill to allow my wool to inhabit the hall. Either way… It does the job for now.

Not the best pic, but I'm pressed for (nap) time.

If I still had facebook, the title of this post would be my status. After a good three hours of trying to get Bub to sleep last night, and after only four hours of actual shut-eye, our neighbour decided to warm up his car before he headed off to work. Maybe he’s an astronaut or something – someone who needs to be out and about in the stars anyway. Normally, I’d say, ‘good for him – keep the engine ticking nicely,’ but when the engine is clearly not doing anything nicely, I just want to slap him about a bit for making us endure that horrendous screech which duly woke Bub, and thus the rest of the house too.

In other, happier news though, I was right about the sewing machine. The Frister and Rossmann Cub 7 is the best machine I have ever stitched on. After over a decade since its last use, this glorious contraption has helped me to create Bub’s Christmas stocking. If anyone is looking for a manual for the Cub 7, I found a link to a free online version here.

I used red felt and some pretty cream fabric with a gold print.

Close up on the cheat 'quilting'. By using felt rather than proper fabric you can just sew one layer and the whole thing looks quilted.

This is the heel, where I hope the majority of her loot will sit in coming years.

This year, she’ll only get an orange and some bread sticks – her current favourite food – because she’s too young to understand what is going on. It wouldn’t feel right for me not to give her anything at all though, hence the single large toy and the token stocking. Happily, she will appreciate the wrapping paper though. Paper is tasty, don’t you know?

What is anyone else with babies doing/have done in the past?

Back

So we’re back from Scotland.

The week in the old-country passed in the blink of an eye and to all the people I didn’t get to see – i.e. everyone that isn’t my parents – I apologise. Whilst I didn’t get to meet up with everyone I would have liked to, I did get to buy a lot of wool and have inherited a lot of exciting knitting patterns.

And – don’t judge me too harshly – a sewing machine. Yes, I know. I just got rid of the last one which was possessed and would have cost hundreds to repair.  But I really think this one – which was my Mum’s – might be different. It’s early days in our relationship, but I’m wondering if this natty little specimen might be the one. I will be testing it tonight when I make Bub’s Christmas stocking and an armadillo costume… No, you probably shouldn’t ask.

Anyways, I haven’t been completely idle. The sweater I’ve been knitting for S-‘s dad since this time last year is less than a sleeve away from completion and my celebratory trawl round the charity shops yielded great success.

Whilst this looks fine by the sofa, I am informed that the wool will block the sound from the subwoofer. And we don't want that. Apparently.

Today I found an old toy cot, painted in a very pale pink. It needs a bit of work but for now functions on a shabby chic sort of level. I will eventually give it to Bub, but it makes a good wool holder, freeing up…

These aren't ideal, but they work for the time being. I think Mum is after them so I will endeavour to free them of my husband's sport shoes asap.

… the wooden boxes that my wool had been stored in. Sports shoes seem to be breeding in my house at present so by turning the boxes on one end, they will serve as a temporary shoe home. I will endeavour to talk husband into building something for the corridor this weekend, but we’ll see how well that goes…

Finally, I thought I’d share Bub’s Christmas gift with you. I picked it up on ebay for less than £15. I showed it to her to gauge whether she was old enough to enjoy it, and sure enough, there were miles of smiles. I have hidden it away again for her to enjoy on the big day. I know she won’t have a clue what’s going on, but I’ve got to get her something.

Lazy

Because I am lazy and still playing that infernal game, I thought I would cheat and paste the first chunk of my Nanowrimo novel. Please don’t think me too narcissistic because I’ve named one of the women ‘Frankie’. It’s just what I call the female lead in anything I write until I think of a name for her.

_____

The fog had come down suddenly, drowning the countryside in a wintery haze that was somehow as seductive as it was unwelcome. He had set off hours ago in a conscious attempt to flee the city before the mass of commuters choked the roads and trapped one another at roundabouts and traffic lights. Though now, in the closing darkness, the primeval part of him which feared the fog longed for the company of other cars – the familiar flicker of the lights being switched from main to dipped beams would have offered some small degree of comfort in the swirling grey.

As he continued on into the darkness, his eyes began to trace the thin tendrils of fog, dancing on the edge of the light ahead and vanishing into the waiting tree-branch arms that lined the road. He was beginning to wonder why his fuel had not depleted, despite his pace. He suspected that the gauge was broken and with that in mind, took the next turn on the right, aiming for the cluster of lights that fringed the horizon.

As he reached the corner, he noted that the fog was thicker this way, masking the road ahead in heavy mist. The light had faded altogether now, leaving him with a feeling of suspension in the gloom. Somewhere above, the moon was a thin sliver, lost amongst silver clouds and with a sigh, he flicked off his main beams and peered ahead, slowing a little in consideration for his dipped lights.

The road was narrower here, serpentine and slick with rain. He eased his foot off the accelerator a little and turned down the music, dropping a gear and slowing to a crawl. He could hear something ahead – a thin rattle lost in the dark grey sky. He flicked the radio off entirely, straining his eyes and ears against the fog

There was a jolt, a twisted howl of steel on steel and suddenly his car jerked onto the opposite side of the road, facing down a crumpled, old hatchback. Shaking himself and trying to get his bearings, his eyes met the flickering headlamps in time to see them go out and he was alone again. His vehicle crippled, and stranded in the mist.

He took a few deep breaths to steady himself before looking down. His nerves had settled enough for him to realise that he was uninjured so with shaking hands, he opened the door and went to see whether the other driver was hurt.

As he stepped from the car, he noted that the air tasted different here – metallic and warm – and that the ground was not as solid as it should have been. Glancing back to his car, he noted with satisfaction that the only damage seemed to be to the front-bumper, and that even then, it was only superficial. The other stricken vehicle lay ahead, its bonnet warped over the now-concave radiator grill. He could see a figure stirring inside.

Creeping forwards through the fog, he began to wring his hands, thoughts of man-slaughter charges and court-cases causing the skin on the back of his neck to prickle. About a meter from the hatchback he stopped, listening. There was a dull creak and slowly, the door swung open and out stepped a short, smiling girl.

“You alright?” she asked, pulling her long hair back from her face and heading towards the side of the road.

“I think so… This fog – it’s…”

“Yeah, it gets bad when you come this far out. Do you want me to give you a lift?” She had collected a large rock from the embankment and had started an attempt to hammer her grill and bonnet back into shape. He watched her for a second, astonished and then muttered,

“No, thank you… Shouldn’t we just swap insurance details?”

“Your car’s fine,” she said, without looking up.

“No – it’s scratched on the front bumper and besides, with the state of yours I really think-” he turned to glance at his car and fell silent when he saw it gleaming and pristine.

“See?” she replied, not looking up from where she was haphazardly banging the metal with her rock, “Good as new. Won’t start though.”

He raised an eyebrow and she stopped, turning to face him for the first time and leaning back against her marginally less-crumpled bonnet. Her smile seemed to be a mocking one that made his toes curl. Arrogant woman.

Slowly, conscious of being watched, he stalked back to the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. The starter motor coughed a little and as he looked up, he saw her face, pale and bright, through the fog. He said nothing, trying to keep his own expression passive, and tried to start the car again. His engine stuttered, the vehicle shuddering a little, but then nothing. He closed his eyes and sighed, watching her push her short figure from her bonnet and walk toward his car. With a quick glance behind her, as though checking to see no one was watching, she leaned against his door frame until he wound down the window.

“You know, the longer we’re in this fog the less likely either car is to work. While mine’s still got some life left, I suggest we go.”

There was something in the way she spoke, something about the way she said life –  as if it was some sort of fuel which could evaporate into the grey night – which made him stand, close his car, and follow her to the crumpled hatchback.

When they were seated inside, she flicked on her headlamps and they began the crawl back through the silver darkness. They did not speak, the low rattle of her engine filling what should have been an uncomfortable silence. Only feet away, the turn he had taken towards the lights lay ahead and she slowed further, glancing at him quickly,

“Which way is home?”

His stomach lurched as he realised he had no idea. His face paled, and he made to tell her as much but no sound came out. She smiled, an understanding and sad gesture, and then awkwardly patted his knee.

“I thought as much. It’s alright, Jay, you can come back with me.”

“Jay,” he repeated as though trying on the sound, “Why did you call me that?”

“Your registration number – SU59 JAY. Jay. I’m Frankie.”

He wanted to argue with her, tell her he was someone else but the more he tried to remember, the more he slipped away from himself. He felt sick. Slowly, deliberately, as if the action would somehow bring him back, he wound down the window. They were leaving the fog now and the air was crisp and clear as he gulped it down, trying to calm his stomach.

“Hey,” she cooed, “it’s ok. The fog does that if you stay too long. You just… get lost in it.”

“You didn’t,” he snapped, and she sighed.

“No, I don’t anymore.”

Further procrastination

I have now got three knitting projects on the go. I use them to procrastinate from one another and from writing. Somehow, I managed not to play either of my games yesterday, but it’s proving far harder today. In fact, the mass of stereo might just have turned itself on so that I may indulge…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I love knitting. I love writing. I think it must be productivity I’m allergic to. How did I ever manage to get a degree or hold down a job when there are monsters to be slain by dancing? Sigh.

I’m about a third of my way through a gift scarf, which I guess is better than nothing. But I do have at least one project which needs to be finished before we go up to Scotland, if not two. Time for… well, me to get my act together really, but as I’m so close to finishing this game, I figure I might as well get it out of my system, and take ‘inspiration’ for this post from one of my favourite blogs at the moment – Stirrup Queens.

To quote:

(1) Make three wishes in the comment section (and don’t believe that stuff about how if say it aloud it won’t come true.  That is precisely when the parts that are within another human being’s control can come true).

(2) Then leave a comment on the blog of the commenter directly before you (so it’s a chain.  #2 comments on #1, #3 comments on #2, etc. If the commenter above you didn’t leave an address, just go one above that.  The point is to find new blogs/leave a comment–not stress).

The first person who comments on this post gets a free ride and does not need to leave any comments.  The last person who comments on this post gets … screwed.

It would be nice within your comment to refer to their wish (if it ties in to the post you read and comment on) and if you can grant any part of it, to do so.  If you can’t, because their wish is outside of human control, don’t feel badly.  But if you have the power to grant a wish, why not do it?

Go my pretties! Wish!

Space Channel 5, Part 2

So much for November as a month of productivity… sigh.

Husband was kind enough to buy me what is possibly the girliest game on the planet and since then, I have been unable to stop playing Space Channel 5, part 2. The original Dreamcast game was a fairly constant companion throughout my final year at university, and possibly contributes to more  of my final grade than I should admit to…

But to make matters worse, Husband also got me the new Back to the Future puzzle game series and so I am gone. Goodbye  Nanowrimo. Goodbye Christmas knitting. Goodbye preserve making. Hello bright colours, glorious nostalgia and incapacitating quantities of tea. This will be glorious!

Man Scarf

Anyone want a manly gift idea? I made this double moss stitch scarf very quickly using fat needles and fat wool.

As you can see, it has been approved by men.

If you’ve not come across double moss stitch before, it works much the same as regular moss stitch, however instead of reversing your single rib after one row, you do so after two. You then end up with this bobbly effect which, whilst slightly more interesting than plain knitting, is still simple enough not to make a bloke look fruity. Score.

 

If you could see me now…

…You would see a girl with tousled hair, staring caveman-browed at her laptop screen. She would appear catatonic.

April 29th. You seem a world away. I cling to your memory. The anniversary of my last sleep without worry, without waking, without the knowledge that I had to get up.

Shopping for Christmas almost complete. The knitting begins now in earnest.