Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

31/05/2013

Oh you Knit wit!

Now. Before I start, in my defence I will say the following..

  1. I haven't been knitting for years and years - no, you could count that in months
  2. I do attempt patterns far harder than my limited ability (Let me explain -  I look at the picture and think I like that and with out further ado find some needles as near to the correct size, some yarn/wool/mix/alpaca from my stash that I think will also look good and just start. Yup. I just START)
  3. I don't do swatches - takes up precious crafting time and precious yarn or wool and I am basically lazy preferring on the spur of the moment crafting
  4. I don't take being told what to do easily either
  5. I have a habit of choosing patterns that are written in a foreign language, the translating programme on the computer can only do so much.....
  6. I am left handed
  7. I have no idea how to read knitting patterns (in English or otherwise...)

Hang on a mo - are these statements my DEFENCE??


Any way - where was I? Oh yes.

Having started on Himself's Skepp-o-hoj, I completed the front and the back and stopped with both pieces resting on a set circular needles. They need to be picked up again once I reach the top of each sleeve. There is a little bit of an interesting meeting of the pieces on the shoulders, but like all my knitting adventures - I will deal with that when I get there.  

   

 However.

The knitting of the sleeves was turning out to be problematic. Firstly - the instructions were a little lost in the translation. Several times. Then having sorted out the initial casting on and setting up the cables, I realised something rather profound.

I CAN'T DO CABLES.  


Well, I can but only one pattern. So having frogged back the sleeve several times, I decided to try the pattern I know. Which, if I had though about it, was not a good idea.
Here I am, a novice knitwit trying to re-write a pattern to fit a differently numbered cable pattern whilst trying to translate the increases so that they do not alter the cables or the P2 K2 ridges in an unsightly manner.

Understandably several more froggings ensured.

I ditched the cable idea.

Nope, I decided, the P2K2 ridges are a powerful manly pattern and do not need the cable up the arm (gentle sobbing could be heard in the back of my head as I let that idea down). My mom lent me an all singing all dancing all generic knitting pattern so I could have the instructions in English, where it gives the number to cast on, the rows to do before increasing and the eventual width at the top of the sleeve. This seemed to be the answer at last!

Off I started again, cast on the correct number of stitches. Happily knitted up a cuff's length then referred back to the pattern. Eeerr. Hmmm. I read the words which instantly turned in to a foreign language. I increased the sleeve as I thought I had been instructed. Hmmmm definitely did not look correct. I re-read the instructions and they still seemed to say the same thing. So, hey ho, I blithely carried on for several rows more. By now I could see this was not not not correct.

The sound of frantic frogging and foul language was quite noticeable for about 10 minutes.   This was followed by the hurling of naked knitting needles and a ball of curly wool back onto my desk. Humph.

The instructions to increase were for stocking stitch but I have such an obvious rib pattern, I just could not see how to increase without either making the sleeves suddenly baggy from the cuff or by adding a silly extra rib in the middle of an existing pattern - sigh..... how on earth did I ever think I liked knitting....grumphff.

Several days passed. I had managed to avoid making eye contact with the ball of disgraced crimped wool but it finally called to me and I started again. This time, making sure we were in a neutral environment (out walking) my knitting and I became reacquainted. I cast on and during the walk completed a cuff's length and put it aside to ask the knit and natter ladies last night - surely they'd know how to increase my sleeve without upsetting the strong vertical stripes.

Later at knit and natter, with much chocolate cake and tea to soothe the knitting nerves (will post about the cake and tea another day) I explained my dilemma.

Oh the response! All offered advice and explained how they would do it and initially it was if they were all speaking a foreign language and then eventually I began to understand and it was if a lightbulb had just been switched on inside my foggy brain (reason for that to be blogged with cake and tea post).  *Simples (click)*

I started knitting again - oh sweet knitting how could I have fallen out of love with you?

Now I have a sleeve (sans cable) being increased (rib pattern intact) with knitting nerves no longer feeling as crumpled as my many-frogged wool - smile.

Aah. Happy again.

29/05/2013

Excuse me mate - you ok?



Work has been its usual busy self - the phones trilled themselves off the hook on Tuesday and we were exhausted by the end of the day - the silly thing is - although we were tired it was a good  tired!

So, once home, after eating and a spell of kitten entertaining, I thought I would share some photos from a walk we have done recently.

Last Saturday was an AbsOlutelY gorgeous day and we collected our boots, the dog and a friend and head for the hills. Having parked on the side of a quiet country track we yomped up a huge grassy sheep filled field and having crested the brow, Youngest announced his need for lunch. We found ourselves a lime stone outcrop to stop at and we were surrounded by the most beautiful deep blue sky.

Having sated Youngest's (and our) appetites we followed an old bridle way over the hills. I love the names of the tracks and farms and often wonder where their names originate. Cowperthwaite, Tennant Gill, Bull and Cave, High Birk Knot. Some names I have investigated and have found some wonderful and convoluted derivations. 

But I digress, back to our walk. As we came around a corner, we spied something orangey coloured ahead of us alongside the footpath. As we got closer I felt as if a bucket of cold water was thrown at me as alongside the orange emergency bivouac bag was a man's body lain in the recovery position. With my heart pounding I looked at Himself who also looked rather concerned. The three boys had retreated to a safe distance as we approached carefully. His haversack contents were spilled out all around him and his head and hands were blistering red from the sun. I noticed with a certain amount of morbid horror a single fly sunning itself on one of his hands.   

'Excuse me mate' Himself said.
You ok?

Nothing.

I leant over him, his colour, apart from sun burnt red, was not of a dead person and I could see beads of sweat across his shaven head. I touched him as I asked him if he was ok.
Nothing.
I gave him a slightly harder prod and hoped that my cell phone would have signal in this isolated spot.
His eyelids flickered and his 'fly' hand lifted and vaguely waved.

'Yeah, yeah - I'm ok, ok' His eyes barely opened and he put his hand down and mumbled...'Just resting'.

I stepped back, as did Himself - neither of us sure what to do next, then the body mumbled again..Just resting'. 
We resumed our walk on the path confused and relieved at the same time. The boys returned back to us, chattering nervously at the thought of finding this man on the floor, they too had been afraid of the worst.
I looked back, he was still lying down with all his belongings strewn around him.

About 50 - 60 meters along we met a group of three walkers and decided to prevent them going through the same confusion and alarm as we had just experienced and mentioned to them about the prone figure just ahead. 

Aye, wi saw im an asked im if he were ok an he said he waz asleep leik, wi thowt t worst, ye knaa wat ah mean leik' said one man in a Geordie accent, it turns out they too had prodded him and expected the worst. 
We chatted a few minutes more with the Geordie lads then continued on our walk.  


After a while Youngest proclaimed once again, his need for a cup of tea and a biscuit....so once more a pit stop was the order of the day. Once more a beautiful spot was found.

We sat alongside a small tarn and listened to the skylarks. The boys, much recovered post cups of reviving tea, explored and I just had to get out my knitting (which has reached a problem that I can not solve easily - need the combined knitting know-how of the knit and natter ladies on Thursday).

Despite the glorious sunshine, high up on the fells, a nippy breeze drove me back inside my fleece.

Much refreshed, we continued up on to Fountains Fell , so called as it used to be part of the Fountains Abbey estates in the 13th century. There is a lot of evidence of more recent mining activity on the tops from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s including mine shafts with large  SNOW lumps at the bottom. I managed to get a photo by holding my camera out over the shaft.

We explored the top, taking photos, finding interesting artefacts when suddenly ..... we saw 'our' body-on-the-floor-man, only this time he was walking around (with half a very burnt face...) phew.

It was (on the whole) a lovely day out - just could have done without our moment of alarm!


And you?
Did you get out in the sun shine?
Did you find something that was out of the ordinary?

What ever you got up to - hope you managed to out and about :)





28/05/2013

Pepper and the Pan-cat

As I mentioned in my last post (as a response to Pan's diary entry) our house was about to be turned upside down by.......................

this!
Meet Pepper
A small whirl wind

 And if you think she looks tiny - it is because she is tiny - and she has already grown a lot in the few days we have had her.
And the most wonderful thing?
More wonderful that you could ever imagine?

Pan has fallen in love with her.
Well - that might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Pan doesn't mind having her around and has promised not to shred the kitten,
the kitten on the other hand
has absoLUTEly no qualms about
shredding Pan.
But to see them curled up next each other by the fire - really makes my heart go
squeeeeeeeeeee!

Welcome Pepper - to the mad house that we live in.
Welcome!

23/05/2013

24 hours in the life of a Pan-cat

Dear Diary,
my humans are under the impurrression that I do nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

This statement is completely untrue and I wish to cat-a-log my very very busy day. I shall start my records from 1am.

01.00am House is all dark, my humans are asleep - what lazy creatures they are, they lie deep in their beds while I run up and down the stairs with my favourite sponge balls in my mouth - oh what delight as I scamper up and down (light as a furry feather) and clatter in and out of the bathroom. I ruffle up the bath mat because it looks soo much better like that - I wish my humans would leave it but No-o-o they have to flatten it out each time. Sigh...better go and lie on the big humans' bed - just make sure they are all right, they might need a bit of cat-protection from monsters.

05.00am It is getting light, my humans ARE STILL ASLEEP - and they say I do nothing?? Time to kiss them, each and every one with my icy cold nose - just to show them that I do love them despite their sloth like behaviour.

05.30am repeat the above exercise - I only got a partial response - two just slept on in their beds, one snorted and grunted and the last one stroked my back and tickled my neck - result!

05.35am cancel that last happy comment - was booted off bed by snorty and grunty one..... going to find a spider to drop in his mouth - ha! That will teach him.

06.00am - Time to get humans up. They have DefiNiTely OVER SLEPT!

06.35am Raced one human to the bathroom as she yawned her way across the hall. I have finally trained her that before she purrrforms any of her ablutions, she is to turn on the tap so I can have a drink.

06.45am Already in the kitchen awaiting breakfast. Service is slow this morning as both big humans stumble about doing things - not sure what all I know is I am NOT getting fed......


7am - 7.20am All four humans are bumbling about at various stages of panic - never really sure what they are doing but they seem to speed up and all crash out the door in one noisy lump. The house is finally mine again - I only keep them indoors to ensure the fire and food is ready for me (although I have to say that the staff do need reminding every now and then) right, a quick nap to keep my strength up.....


10.30am - that was a good little nap. Now to check what is going on around outside. Plenty of humans wandering around - silly things.


11.00am A bit of bird watching never did anycat any harm - gets the juices flowing when I chatter at the silly little feathery things. All this activity gives a cat a raging thirst. Good thing I can get a drink from the kitchen tap - mind you, I can only do this when no one is looking - my humans get a little grouchy when I do this - not sure why.....

11.30am - A quick cruise by my meal platter - hmmmm, not sure about these new biscuits. Much much prefurrred my last ones but according to my humans it was this food that made my skin tickle with a fiery burn that made me scratch like mad. I blame my humans for torturing me by making me wear a cone of shame.....hiss spit!

12.00pm Yawn, bit of nap needed, lucky for me the sun is coming in through this patio door - purrfect .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

12.30pm Just checking out this chair for comfort levels - middling to good - may have to come back to this one to try it again.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

1pm Testing this chair for possible cute poses - my humans seem to feel I have to purrform a cute pose - this reduces them to a coo-ing ingratiating mess....sigh, I need to work on them again. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

1.30pm A quick nibble - hmmm, still not sure of these biscuits but a cat has to keep body and fluff together, if I don't eat I shall become weak and lose control of my cat-pack. So soldier on and eat up!

2pm Found a box, stalked it and made it cower in the corner. A quick pounce and the box was mine! I've not lost the touch....now what can I do?
2.10pm Found ANOTHER BOX! Purrfect - did a bit more pouncing and once again I triumphed! Think I need a power nap.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
3pm - Yawn - that was good, now - better inspect the house before they come home, I have got it just like I like it and they are sure to mess it up. Now to sit at the door til they arrive.


5pm Three of the four have been home for a quite a while now, the calming catatonic atmosphere I created has been replaced by music and chatter - enough to make a cat's ears wilt. My boys are doing homework at their compurrters and the big one is in the kitchen cooking - think it is time to cruise by and work my charms - see what I can get.... might even help with the washing up - I LoVe washing up time!

5.30am My last human is home, she always picks me up and buries her face into my fluffy tum - grrrrrr put me down human! How dare you!


6pm My humans seemed to have calmed down and the house is a little less frantic, best stare at the fire and let them know I wish it to be lit

6.30pm bliss

6.45pm Human! Come over here - the fire needs more wood - hurry up!

7pm I am feeling a little hot and bothered - think I will lie somewhere a little cooler - my foolish human has made the fire far too hot for my delicate self - sigh, once again I am being let down  by the staff.
7.15pm That's better, sitting behind the curtain and staring firmly at the neighbours has certainly cooled me down.

7.30 Gosh I'm tired, think I might take a nap.

7.35pm May be not! Ooh my favourite toy - a green-fluffy-snaky-thing-on-a-stick - this is when I turn into a levitating-cat - such is my power, my humans ooh and aah and  abase themselves at my paws - as they should.

8pm I know I shouldn't have - but ooh a cat has to let her fur down every now and then and return to her kittenhood

9 - 10pm it is the boys bed time, I have to escort them up and ensure they get to their beds safely. A quick safety check under their beds to catch any moths or monsters, then a noisy gallop up and down the hall way, a rattle around the loft conversion, back downstairs, job done, time for a nap before bed time.

11pm - Ahh, all humans are either in bed or on their way - the house is mine again, I know what I'll do, I will have a quick game with my favourite sponge ball, run up and down the stairs - I know they love it coz I keep hearing them mutter things from their beds!

So you see dear diary - I am a busy little furry soul, happy and safe in the knowledge that this little kingdom is mine and all the staff are at various stages of their training....I've got it sussed ****




****PS added by one of the humans (Dear little Pan-cat - your little world is about to be turned upside down and you will not be an only cat for much longer - I wish to apologise in advance but it will be for your own good and you will agree {eventually})

Good night.




22/05/2013

The magic of Grass Wood

We have a favourite woodland that we walk in several times each year, capturing different seasons and different views. We have visited this spot since the boys were tiny and just about able to walk up the main track on little toddly legs and tired feet. Their hands small and sticky as they grasped our fingers for support. Over time as their legs and their bodies strengthened, we have taken more and more challenging routes which they have bounded up with such enthusiasm.

At the top is an iron age 'settlement' originally though to be a fort but over time and with better understanding of the lie of the land and the needs of the ancient peoples, the fort has now been classed as an ancient dwelling.

On the far side, over a high stone wall the woodland takes on a different feel, more ancient and wild with hawthorn, beech, birch and ash colonising the undulating dale. We followed a well loved and oft tramped path through these trees and moorland grass with its limestone outcrops nestled between scrubby bushes and wind battered hawthorn.
 'My' tree - a twisted magical hawthorn, stands proud on a small hillock. We have stopped to visit it every time we walk here - each time I leave a woven grass band on one of the branches, noting over the years older faded ones - some have survived several winters while others have gone.

The surrounding area is filled with a wonderful timeless and venerable feeling - it has a definite air of side stepping the modern world and remaining unchanged.
Several neighbouring birch trees have 'witches' brooms' - a virus induced odd growth with dozens of twigs sprouting in a tight tangled manner.

This walk however was also filled with optimism and buoyant spring colour as emerging flowers seemed to emanate in all quarters.

Tucked into the clints and grykes were primroses and sprinkled through out the moorland grasses 
were wild heartsease as well as purple and yellow violets.


 There were bluebells with their heavenly hyacinth-scent, purple heath spotted orchids, celandine 
and 'milkmaid'.  
The woodland floor was strewn with anemones and wild strawberries and along the pathways, 
blackthorn and cow-parsley were covered in frothy white flowers.

Spring in our favourite corner of the world has finally sprung - and it is GLORIOUS!




21/05/2013

Home made home grown rhubarb yumble-crumble

Last weekend we managed to squeeze in a bit of gardening between work, walking and the weather.

Himself harvested our first rhubarb crop of the year and Youngest made the yummiest pud.

The freshly picked rhubarb stalks were simmered in sugar and orange juice, then he rubbed butter into flour, added sunflower seeds and more brown sugar. I put the dish into the oven and 20 minutes later this gorgeously fragrant crumble came out.

Not surprisingly Himself and the boys finished it off in double time - I had a token piece, I am not keen on rhubarb but certainly appreciated the effort and time he put into creating our rhubarb yumble-crumble!

I think he just might have a calling......

20/05/2013

Sunshine - you are my sunshine!

Oh gloriously hot stuff, you warmed my back and made me squint.
You briefly gave me a sweaty brow.
Oh delicious warm thing high in the sky
you sun kissed my nose and gave me freckles
I was so so not expecting you and unprepared and out on the hills I rejoiced in you heat and brightness,
Now after the glow of Sunday I have sunburnt cheeks and a glowing nose - not a good look.
Thanks.
(Memo to self - don't forget the sun protection cream next time we go walking......)





 I'd forgotten dear dear sunshine that you are both friend and foe to a red headed freckle face........

18/05/2013

A Surprise winner!

Remember this?   
 
A farmer rang to request a list of drugs and one of the medications he needed was ' fer 'is yow wi bad touch of t crambleys'  And not only was she suffering the interestingly fruity sounding 'crambleys' but she was 'alles had tiftin' too....So...any ideas?
Have a guess!
Go on - what do you think

Well Grammy dear - you were the nearest with.....

Love the sheep bum cake. Too cute. I have no idea what your farmer said unless he has an animal with an upset tummy. Tiftin????? Love your posts about your Yorkshire farmers. on Thank ewe!

A touch of the 'crambleys' is a sheep with a terrible gut ache who walks stiffly with an arched back to try to alleviate the pain - and 'tiftin' as the local word used to describe the rapid sharp breathing sheep do when they have some ailment associated with their lungs - pneumonia or lung worm or are in pain - Grammy Braxton - email me with your address coz I have a little something to pop in the post for you! And I know you will love it as it has lots and LOTS of Yorkshire farming dialect written on it!

Just a quick post today - work has been inexplicably and suddenly extremely busy recently and I have not been able to do anything except get up in the morning - go to work - work work work - come home and collapse on the settee with glazed eyes til bedtime only to start it all over again the next day - the funny thing is though - despite the work load and the drive there and back each day - I am still very happy where I am Thank you for asking :) !!

 Feeling sheepisH?


10/05/2013

Thank ewe!

Aaww...  ThAnk YoU!

Thank you so much for your very kind comments about my sheep-cake. It was very well received and there was much laughter and offers of putting the kettle on as soon as we started work!


There was just the two cakes in the end for this year's end of lambing season cake-off,  as a third entry had a mini-family-crisis (a poorly coughing child) so cake decorating was put on hold - the vet (a huge rugby playing cow lifting strapping man) had made an extremely rich and tasty chocolate and Guinness cake!

He covered it with lashing of a cream cheese icing and I have to admit it was very yummy but very rich, not something you should have mid-morning at work - I did cheerfully comment on 'I don't usually drink during the day hic!'

We all chortled at his reasoning for his design...he said that he'd been looking at the back end of ewes for the last few weeks so it was the perfect choice for his cake!


 Oooh ooh I just remembered I have heard some new farming dialect words - you were so interested last time I blogged 'Today' that I thought I would share!


A farmer rang to request a list of drugs and one of the medications he needed was ' fer 'is yow wi bad touch of t crambleys'  And not only was she suffering the interestingly fruity sounding 'crambleys' but she was 'alles had tiftin' too....

So...any ideas?

Have a guess!

Go on - what do you think?!



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