Sunday, 29 May 2016

Adventures in knitting, podcasts and an award

I have knit on and off since my girls were small, usually cardigans or jumpers for them, then again when Oliver was born, nothing complicated, just little cardigans and blankets.

I do enjoy knitting, it's easily picked up if you have just a bit of spare time or watching the TV, and I like that you don't have to get out all the paraphernalia associated with stitching.
So when I  discovered that there were knitting podcasts it sparked my interest in knitting again.

The first one I watched was The Sampler Girl, which I really enjoyed, especially the ones she does with her mum, they have me chuckling away at their banter.  Then there is Nicole's, at Nicole's Needlework.
You probably remember her lovely sampler stitching, more recently she has been knitting.  Anyway both Tanya and Nicole have knit lovely shawls which lead me to browse Ravelry in search of a pattern.

I started small and simple with the Hitchhiker, and love how it turned out.


You start off with one or two stitches and by the process of increases and decreases end up with this asymmetrical shape, very clever :-)

I never thought of myself as a shawl wearer, but these are probably more like neck scarves, which I do like.

I enjoyed knitting the Hitchhiker so much I cast on another one right away.

This is Antarkis,which is a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I'm using one of the yarns I bought in Edinburgh recently, the West Yorkshire Spinners Blue Faced Leicester

and my progress


I did order another circular needle to continue this on but when it arrived today I had ordered the wrong size.

There is another podcast I've been addicted to watching, Danni at Little Bobbins  knits 
She is a serious knitter and yarn stasher and she knits the loveliest socks that It got me back to thinking how much I really want to knit a pair of socks.

Now, I did attempt a sock about 2 years ago and I really really struggled with 4 needles and gave up before I was even half way done, that project is stuffed in a drawer somewhere and hasn't seen the light of day since.  But, when I was googling easy sock patterns this week I came across  a blog with  this basic sock pattern, and best of all it goes thorough the process step by step and mentioned using a small circular needle, which I had never thought of!

I'm so excited about the fact that I might now be able to knit some socks :-)

 I ordered a circular needle and I have some yarn which was in a sock kit I bought years ago, it's probably not the best yarn in the world and isn't a very exciting colour way  but it will serve the purpose for my first attempt.


I've been spending lots of time in the garden trying to move some plants and split some that have got a bit big, still a few jobs to do but it's looking ok.

I'm particularly impressed with my Hostas this year.  I put some copper band around the tubs and it seems to have worked in keeping away the slugs and snails,  there is only damage to one leaf  in each tub, and the culprit was found, (and removed) when I put the band on, so that was worth doing :-)


There are two hostas planted in the garden which I want to dig out next year and put in large tubs, I think you can appreciate them more planted in containers.

Sorry there is no stitching update, I have done a little on Elizabeth but really it's so little it's not worth sharing this time.
I have also fallen behind on the mantle decorating :-(  I really wanted to keep up with this but with so many other things going on it's not been high on my list of things to do.  The only thing I did was finish my Maybelle flowers into a garland and hung that.  I'm really pleased with how these flowers came out.



I think I'm still behind in blog reading so apologies if I haven't visited you for a while, I will catch up, eventually.

Finally, back at the beginning of May Jo, at jo-throughthekeyhole.blogspot.co.uk/ nominated me for the Liebster Award, thank you so much Jo, it was so kind of you :-)

If you haven't visited Jo's blog go and check her out, she has lovely chatty posts, :-)


  Here is how it works:- 

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog.
Copy and past the Liebster Award badge to your post
Answer the ten questions you've been asked
Create ten new questions for the bloggers you are nominating
Notify the bloggers that you have nominated.

And Jo's questions were:-

1.  What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I don't go to the cinema very often but the last thing I watched there was a play, The Importance of Being Ernest, which was being broadcast live from London
2.  where would be your ideal place to live, town, country or coast?
I love English seaside towns and I've always had a dream of living by the sea, that would be my ideal location, a little place with uninterrupted views of the sea.
3.  Do you have any pets?
Yes, 2 cats Millie and Molly.  Millie is all black and short haired and an old lady of  11, Molly is black and white long haired tuxedo as is about 9.  They are not related but get on quite well.
4.  What is your favourite area of the UK?
London.  I just love everything about it.
4.  What song annoys you?
Anything by Michael Bouble.  I won't say anymore for fear of offending anyone ;-)
6.  What three things would you take to a desert island?
This one is quite hard!  I think definitely a favourite book, earl grey tea, and my face cream.
If you asked me again another time it would most likley be 3 different things, lol
7.  If you were given a million pounds, what you spend it on?
You know, I don't think I would rush out to buy anything in particular.  I would give some to my girls first, the rest would probably be put into savings, quite boring really!
8.  What would be your last meal?
This is not really a meal as such but something I really enjoy (occasionally), sausage, 4 sausages, really really well done, (for 'well done' read burnt) and a good dollop of tomato ketchup to dip them in :-)
9.  Have you ever met anyone famous?
Mmmm, not unless you count the Bachelors when I was probably about 8 or 9.
They were in a pantomime that my granny had taken me to and I remember going to get their autograph after the show
10.  What's your favourite take away?
Without a doubt Indian.  I usually go for salmon tika with sagg aloo and salad or chiken rogan josh and boiled rice.  I gave up having nann bread years ago but love poppadoms and dips.

Great questions Jo thank you!

Now here are my 10 questions:-

1.  What was the last book you read?

2.  Apart from family, if you could choose 3 dinner guests, living or dead who would you invite?

3.  Which do you prefer, beach holiday or city break?

4.  What is your favourite cake?

5.  Which would you choose to hire someone to do, cooking, cleaning or gardening?

6.  If you could travel back in time, what year would you go back to and why?

7.  What is your all time favourite film?

8.  What was your first job?

9.  Roller-coasters, love them or hate them?

10.  Now, look out your window, what do you see?

This is where I should nominate 5 other bloggers to take part, but as it's been quite a few weeks and i'm not up to date with blog reading what I want to do is nominate YOU.

 If you are reading this, (and thank you for getting this far on a long post), and you have a blog I would love it if you would take part, I think it would be a great way to discover new blogs;-).
All you need to do is copy all the info regarding the conditions etc together with the questions I asked
and answer them on your blog then create  more questions, simple!

Leave me a comment if you decided to take part (and I hope you do) and I can come and visit you :-)

We have a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend her in the UK and so far the weather has been just lovely, fingers crossed it stays that way :-)  Were not going far from home tomorrow though, I'm not keen on sitting in Bank Holiday traffic, but we did think that we would go our for breakfast in the morning then come back and have a nice chill out day and perhaps watch some films, we don't do that very often so it will be a nice change.

I do hope some of you will take up the offer of the Liebster award.

Thank you for visiting today, I really appreciate it, see you soon.

-X- 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

One Saturday in Edinburgh

I had to bid a fond farewell to my old laptop, it served me well for probably 8 years or more, nothing could be done to save it, but at least the I.T guy managed to get all my files and photos off the hard drive.  It's going to be a task to go through everything and see what i really do want to keep though, something i will have to do a bit at a time.

It seems ages since I was here but I thought i'd pick up where I left off, which was when I was just before I set off to Berwick again.

We have had some really lovely weather the last few weeks and when I set off for my visit to Mark we had been having temperatures of 22 - 24 degrees most days.  I got a shock when he picked me up at the station on the Friday evening, it was only 12 degrees!!

The following day Mark dropped me at the train station just before 8.30 for my train to Edinburgh, it was like a bleak Winter morning, really cold and misty.

Berwick Upon Tweed station. 
(If you are wondering,this is how you pronounce Berwick)
I know some of  our place names can be a little strange and not pronounced how you might think,
the universal English language can be confusing.


Anyway, 40 minutes later i was in Edinburgh, where it was clearer but colder still.
Honestly, i couldn't have chosen a colder day if i had gone mid Winter.
My daughter text me to say it was a lovely 24 degrees at home, and there i was considering buying an extra jumper and a pair of gloves, lol

I decided to buy a tour bus ticket, one of those you can hop on and off all day, Edinburgh is very hilly so it gave me chance to rest when I'd had enough of walking.

I didn't have time to visit all the places I would have liked, and chose to visit Holyrood House rather than the Castle.  Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photographs inside the Palace.  Twice a year the Queen still stays there, it's shut at those times, but when it's open for visitors some of the rooms on the tour are actually used by the Queen.  It's quite strange walking round and thinking that Her Majesty has walked where you are walking. and sat at that dining table :-)

Holyrood is also where Mary Queen of Scotts lived and you can see her rooms in the Palace, and very cold they are too, imagine what they would have been like back then in the middle of Winter!

The Abbey ruins and the gardens are well worth a walk around too.












Edinburgh is also home to the largest monument to a writer.
Normally you would be able to climb to the top of the Walter Scott monument but at this time is was closed for refurbishment, which was probably just as well because i wouldn't have been able to resist the challenge of climbing the 287 steps just to say I'd done it, but my legs and feet would not have thanked me, lol

Walter Scott

The Walter Scott Monument built in 1884

There are plenty of shops selling tartan paraphernalia and shortbread biscuits in various shapes and in every conceivable shaped tin, of course, there would be, and why not, but there is also a lot of history attached to the City, and that's what I'm more interested in, which was why the tour bus is a good idea, the guides are very informative and you get little snippets about the City that you would probably miss otherwise.

I managed to fit in a mini yarn crawl while I was there.  Ginger Twist is a cute little shop about 10-15 minute walk from Hollyrood House and where I purchased some goodies



And later in the afternoon I managed to find Kathy's Knits, another lovely place and another purchase

This is the first time i've ever bought any hand dyed yarn, and i'm loving the colours and have been spending quite a bit of time on Ravelry looking for something to knit.

My train back to Berwick was at 5.30,  I'd walked almost none stop all day, only stopping for breakfast and a cuppa late morning and another coffee stop while waiting for my train, needless to say, I was shattered.

Mark said the mist from the morning had hung around Berwick all day



I was heading home and another long train journey the next afternoon, so although it was lovely to get away, see Mark and do some sight seeing it was a tiring weekend, plus I had Oliver 3 times as well as work last week so I feel like i'm playing catch-up with everything this week.

Hopefully I will get around to some blog reading and commenting at the weekend now I've got my new super duper computer :-)

-X-

Friday, 6 May 2016

When computers go wrong

My lap top has a serious problem.  
It has been with our I.T guy at work all week and he thought it might have been the power jack,
but he has called me this morning to say it's bad news.
Not sure exactly how bad until he comes over later, but it may be time for a new lap top :-(

I have been putting off getting a new one for ages, (Mark kept telling me to get one), but the one i had served the purpose i wanted it too, well obviously now it doesn't so i've got to look around for another, (sigh)

I have hundreds, no, it's probably thousands of photos on there, fingers crossed that the I.T guy will be able to get them off for me.  They are on Picasa too so i should still be able to get to them (i think??)

Anywho, i probably won't be posting or commenting until i get something sorted, just so you don't think I've done a disappearing act, lol  I may be able to get a sneaky browse of your blogs when i'm at work, I could use my phone or Kindle Fire i suppose but it's not the same, for me anyway.

This afternoon i'm off to Berwick again, Mark hasn't been home for 2 weeks, (the job he is on is nearing the end and it's always manic towards handover), so i'm paying him a visit.  He will be working all weekend though so i'm taking myself off to Edinburgh for the day tomorrow, Yayyyy, really looking forward to that, when i return with a blog post I will bombard you all with photos of my trip :-)
I've got a list of things i want to do and see while i'm there and an order from Oliver to bring him a T Rex teddy, please nanny  :-)

I have some knitting and some crocheting to pass the time on the train, it's around a four and a half hour journey each way so i should be able to get plenty done :-)

Have a good weekend, and if you are in the UK, make the most of the beautiful weather, the forecast on the news this morning was for change next week, isn't that usually the way!

-X-