Sunday, 22 February 2009

Spring fever and Aida

It was Textile in focus this week end, an annual textile meeting with stalls, workshops and exhibitions, full of yummy threads, wools, beads etc. I promised myself that i would be restrained and not buy much, but yes some of the products were just to tempting, some lovely lilac lace yarn crept in my basket, then some patterns i could not resist, then some sheep buttons, a book on Free form crochet and Woolly workshop became my Nemesis, 2 hanks of Alpine baby for ponchos, help i am a textile addict. I had wanted to do some workshops, but my energy levels were just not high enough.never mind there is always next year. It was great to meet Avril, Dinah, Jennifer and others there and compare wools threads etc

Buds are beginning to poke there heads up in the garden, and there is definitely a feeling of spring in the air, even the birds are beginning to sing there hearts out. Lily is helping to propagate,by bringing large plant pots into the conservatory and re distributing the contents.She has also trimmed the palms nearly a bald hair cut. Poor Simba has an ear infection which needs daily cleaning. Every night he gets on the bed for a cuddle and is coned by me with treats as Martin pins him to the bed to clean the wound. The look on his face is so reproachful, but each night he returns. I kid myself that its me he returns to but i know in reality its the treats. Missy's love of my drinking chocolate is getting out of hand. As soon as i have my cup in my hand i am under constant surveillance, and she grumbles if she thinks that i am drinking too much, she also doesn't mind sharing my tea either.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Valentines,Trolls and Fair isle Knitting

It truly has been an unusual 2 weeks. Last week i was house bound, due to the snow, gradually i emerged to go to a Debbie Abrahams workshop and today it was so warm that i sat in a friends garden , drinking tea .But what has this to do with trolls and fair isle you may ask? I had been confined to the house for awhile as i dare not walk in the snow and ice in case i fall. The workshop with Debbie was really great. We spent a day making up a fair isle bag and learning various techniques as we went, tension, weaving etc. Debbie brought previously prepared kits and off we set . The yarn was cotton so it showed up all the little faults etc so that she could help us sort them out. I found it really useful as i am knitting her mystery blanket and some squares are in fair isle, all those ends! It took me a couple of days, but i made up an adapted version of the bag and was really pleased with it. That explained the fair isle.

The next day i had a court sitting, a very slow and drawn out one, whilst we sat waiting for clients, the Clerk of the court started showing us her troll bead bracelet. Yes there is something called a Troll bead bracelet. I was fascinated. It was like a charm bracelet but with glass beads as well as charms, it was beautiful. Martin met me for lunch and off we went to look at the shop which sold them.

Valentines day back to the shop were he brought me the bracelet, a silver scarab to remember when we married in Egypt, a rose bead in glass for Valentines and a starfish with seaweed, to remember our love of Norfolk. It is my prized possession, lucky they had a 10% day, plus a glass of champagne. On to the Knit together group at the Gradpad where a lovely afternoon was had by all. A great Valentines day.Completed with hugs and kisses from the golden woofs.

Over the weekend i managed to finish my cardigan which was great, as i am desperately trying to be good and finish things .

As for my babes, what can i say about them. Lilly has eaten my handbag, well the inside at least, plus an asthma inhaler, a calculator and several pencils. I dread to think what the inside of her stomach must be like. Missy has taken a great deal of liking to my night time drinking chocolate. Woe betide if i drink it all and not save her the last third of a cup,if i save too little she grumbles at me. Merlin is showing a few grey hairs, whilst his dad my beloved Simba is still quite sprightly, though at the moment all i can hear is his loud snores and snuffles.Tumi bless her guards Lilly at all times, she has also become our ears and woofs at everyone who knocks at our door, sometimes even when they are only coming down the path.She even lets us know when Sophie the cat wants to come in.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Arabian Nights

At last i have manged to take some photos of my mystery blanket, whose theme , i believe is the Arabian Nights. I love this square for its simplicity and its beaded work. On the news as i write, it is beng announced that that Israel is favouring a hard line approach to arabs and that one minister, is advocating that if Jews are not militant in their views, they should be expelled. I visted Israel many years ago, and even then the sense of un ease in the atmosphere was electric. Though i visited some of the most sacred sites in the world, the only place of peace i found was in galilee on the lake. A land of such stunning culture, beutiful scenery and power sites, for example the holocast museum, i came away with the feeling of how could the Jews treat the Arabs in such a way, when they themselves had been so persecuted in the past. i have been watching with great interest the program Around the world in 80 Faiths, the presenter, an Anglian priest has been investigating various world religions and sites of spirituality. This week, he visited my fathers place of birth India, a vast continent of many religious faiths. He found that the country moved him to tears, because they let each other be, a tolerant nation whose hospitality and nurture were clear to be seen. Many of the worlds great religions started there, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddism, Sikism, to name but a few, and generally they co exist.It is a sad world, when so many lives are lost fighting for there religious beliefs.

Enough of such seriousness, this square reminds me of a magic carpet, with its stripes and colours. The ends to sew in where horrendous, but the over all effect was worth the effort. Our carpet is constantly covered in dog hair, and dogs. It sits in front of the fire, and the dogs love the fire, even though they have thick woolly coats, so we have nightly battles as to whom can claim the most carpet, us mere humans can shiver.

The blue and ochre pendant were a joy to knit, i love the beads and buttons.The ochre is a desert colour and the blue is similar to alot of Bedoiun tents as seen in Morroco. The Bendoin live a very simple and nomadic life, we were lucky to be invited into a tent once. They have a few pots, a loom, rugs, saddles, and little else. Life for them has not changed for centuries. i was given a genuine Bedouin necklace, which is made up of reclaimed beads and rope. It is one of my prized possessions.

The last two squares show the easiest and the hardest squares to knit. The red one was a devil

it needed constant concentration, as every row was different, and it included beading, cables, lace and texture. I must have knittted it and ripped it apart at least 10 times it was a great lesson in patience. Sure enough we need to repeat it again this month. Six made and 4 to go for this month. The blanket is making me concentrate and knit in ways that i would have never done before. It is also bringing back memories of holoiday happennings that had slipped my mind, maybe i should re read the Arabian Nights.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

In the bleak mid winter

Dogs on the run

It has been a little while since i last posted on the blog, and lots of things have happened. We are now in the grips of the harshest winter in 18 years and the fluffy babes love it.I have been housebound for just over a week as i dare not walk on the icy pavements in case i slip. But Simba and co have been walking in the outer wilds of Waterbeach jumping in all the drifts and playing boo with the deer. They love the snow and it has been hard getting them to come inside so that we can close the door and keep the snow in. Lily likes bringing in large lumps of ice and chewing them over your feet, just to make sure that your feet are clean and that you keep awake.

Missy in the Snow

Her adventures continue and her task to make the world one glorius play area is well on the way. In the last weeks she has eaten Martin's ear piece for his computer, ate and spread a large jar of Gold glitter. Yes it's every where, in the chair on there fur and even in the bed, snow and glitter look well together. She has created a new game called rummage the dustbin, you put the rubbish in and she takes it out re distributing it all over the floor. Those scappy bits of plastic are important to a girl.

Loverable lily, free at last

Martin is back at University, happier this semmester as he likes the subjects more. it's all way beyond me, but he enjoys it.In his spare time he is playing Oblivion and is pleased because he is no longer a vampire or something. He has been getting all the shopping etc and dog walking in this bad weather, so if nothing else he is keeping fit.

Simba in the mud and muck as happy as a dog can be

As for me other than being house bound for awhile, which i have quite enjoyed, i am the same as ever. I have new purple shoes and braces from the hospital. I thought if i have to wear it i might as well choose something bright. I am in the process of knitting, sewing, painting various things, plus i still do my JP bit. in knitting i am making the Debbie Abraham mystery blanket. It comes in kit form, 5 squares per month and slowly the theme emerges. Each square is an advanced knit, either beaded,intarsia,cables, fairisle etc or all or some of each. It's fun but taxing to do, and will eventually make a large wall hanging. This year the colours are very ethnis and i think the theme is Arabian Nightys but i am not sure. i am also completing the Olivia Alpaca knitted coat, plus a Scandernavian throw. Painting i am still completing my 3 Kings picture with Deanna, painted Mosaic style and completely different to what i had in mind. In embroidery i am still stitching Ben Hur for the Embroidery of the Centuary.

What else has happened, my Winter warmer swap came through and i received a lovely box of 3 kinds of handspun wool, a ball of turqoise Alpaca, some knit pro cable needles, buttons and beads and a lovely card, hopefully a picture of my box will soon appear here.
Picture of the family, Martin is there somewhere.
They say that it is a dog's life.