Up Knit Creek

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Just to wish you all

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not much longer

and it'll all be over for another year.
Life has turned even more hectic in these last few days as I have had to add "personal nurse" to my list of accomplishments. OH (or Simon, as he is more usually known) has had a minor operation resulting in an inch-long open wound to the left of his belly-button which needs to be dressed daily. As the GP's surgery is now closed until Wednesday, this task has fallen to me. I have had to re-learn the aseptic techniques I was taught many years ago when I was training to be a midwife and learn the new skill of packing a wound whilst the patient writhes around in agony. I must confess to enjoying the feeling of power it gives me to stand over another human being whilst wielding the forceps of doom, uttering the words "it wouldn't hurt so much if you kept still - I will have to fetch the restraining ropes!"

I have also perfected the art of small cake making in the style of Dali:
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These are quite categorically the worst-shaped cakes I have ever made
but, really, who cares as long as they taste OK.

Today, I installed Skype on our PC, having bought the software packs for myself, my parents, my brother and the girls when they are at their dad's. My brother, obviously, was the first to install his and has phoned a dozen times since to nag me into installing mine. He clearly has nothing better to do on Christmas Eve than to muck about on his PC - no turkey to stuff, no sprouts to peel, no mince pies to eat make, no last-minute presents to wrap. Well, I am pleased to report that Skype works and works very well. I am going to have to limit the anount of time I spend using it as it could easily become addictive, especially if you use the Sketch Pad facility. Mike (brother) and I spent ages drawing a beautiful Christmas tree complete with baubles and tinsel, but unfortunately, I cannot get it to open in a format suitable for posting on here. You will just have to believe me that it was the most gorgeous tree in the history of the world!

Finally, a seasonal scene from last year at my parents' house:
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Yes, snow. It wasn't on Christmas Day but there was just about enough to make a snowman.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Almost there

Christmas has crept up on me (again - this happens every year) and I find myself with only one week to go yet several weeks' worth of tasks to be completed before I can relax with a glass (or three) of mulled wine a half a dozen one of my mum's home-made mince pies.
The shopping for presents has been finished although there may be an extra one to get (depends how charitable I'm feeling) which can be got from the supermarket along with the three tons of brussels sprouts. The cards have been written and will be posted tomorrow. The presents will be wrapped tonight (if I can find the vodka bottle before I start). The cake is now decorated:
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The tree is not yet up thanks to a slight oversight on OH's part (no stand to put it on). We are having a smaller tree this year as mum and dad are staying and they will not be able to open out the sofa bed if we use our usual tree. Smaller tree = smaller decorations = smaller angel =
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Pattern here

All (?) that's left to do is: clean the house from top to bottom, make apple pie, make second apple pie as the first was burnt to a cinder after becoming totally engrossed in some trashy TV programme, make mince pies, make custard pie, pick up turkey,go home again to find order confirmation that proves I ordered a turkey, buy enough fruit and vegetables to sink a battleship, return to shop to get the little tiny jar of cranberry sauce that I forgot and queue for 3 hours for the privilege, drive 180 miles (and back) to pick up parents, deliver presents to brother and family, sit in roadworks for three hours on return journey, disentangle cat from sellotape and gift-wrap ribbon, drop Christmas cake whilst transporting it to a "safe" place and finally run off into the sunset, cackling hysterically whilst asking total strangers if they would like me to accompany them on the viola while they sing Christmas Carols!
How about you? Are you ready?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

If you can't talk sense......

or in this case, write sense, don't talk at all.
My parents used to say this to me a lot when I was little as I was something of a chatterbox. I took their words to heart which is the reason for the lack of posts on this 'ere blog.

Since last we met, I have been out for my birthday meal (to the Emperor of China in Brighton Marina, and very good it was, too), argued with Dixons/Curry's/Mastercare over our less-than-12-months-old LCD TV and whether they should mend it or replace it (they replaced it - Yay!) and painted the bathroom after first patching up the loose plaster and replacing some missing tiles.
The trip to the chinese restaurant was excellent - good food, calm atmosphere, excellent service - well worth another visit.
The interaction with Dixons/Curry's/Mastercare was frustrating, annoying and extremely tedious; it would take a really really long post to cover all the details but we did get satisfaction (kind of) eventually. Needless to say, when they emailed a customer survey (actually, they emailed several - one after each phone call) they did not score highly. The TV was originally a very good deal, bought on-line last December, but their customer service stinks. If there was a national award for buck-passing, they would win, hands down.
The interlude with the bathroom was boring but necessary, what with having guests for Christmas, yada, yada. The guests in question have to be suitably impressed when they come here, they're my parents (same ones who told me, basically, to zip it all those years ago).

There has been some activity of a knitterly variety -
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Wine and Roses mittens from the latest Interweave Knits magazine, knitted in Jojoland merino. It's lovely wool but I was very disappointed with the sudden colour change visible on the left mitten. The colour changes up to this point had been very long and subtle and all of a sudden this green comes along and whacks me in the eye!

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Argosy scarf from the latest Knitty, using Jaggerspun Zephyr in Cinnabar colour. This may or may not be a Christmas present - I haven't decided yet. This is the first time I have used Jaggerspun and I am undecided about that as well. The resulting fabric is lovely, soft and drapey and good for showing stitch definition, but it is not the easiest to knit with, tending to split quite easily. It would probably be fine with pointier needles than the ones I am using, but my trusty Clover bamboos were the nearest.

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A very orange tea cosy, pattern made up as I went along, wool is some Merino Brights by Elle yarns which I found in a local shop and haven't been able to track down anywhere on the web to see if there are any more muted colours available. This is supposed to be a present but I think it has come out too wide and not tall enough and I don't think I can bodge adapt it to fit.

As well as the above activities, I have been to work (a necessary evil) and kept the household going with food and clean clothes etc, so I've not really been slacking, although I intend to now. I know there's another load of washing to be done and I really should make more mince pies or start the dinner but I'm off to spin more silk, yippee!