Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Prawn Lurgie

I've had a disastrous knitting weekend.

I went to a mini-University reunion (which isn't why my weekend knitting didn't work) to catch up with my friend who emigrated to Canada after we finished our degrees. In the final year of studying journalism, one of our projects was to explore the culture, politics, and media regulations of another country. While I chose Finland, having been there the previous Summer, she (being a serious Bryan Adams fan) chose Canada - focusing particularly on Vancouver. During the research process she happened to glance over the shoulder of a Middlesborough FC fan and spotted someone on the mailing list with a Canadian email address. Confused yet?

Having agreed with the fan, it was alright to steal this contact for her project, she started emailing this chap. Then they began calling each other, and then it became plans to visit. At first we were a tad concerned about the axe-murderer potential of this situation, but thankfully our fears came to nothing. She and and her husband have been married for eight years and have two great kids.

So, she was back this weekend for a reunion and several of us agreed to meet up in a certain pub in Lincoln. On the way there, I cast on some "Fortissima - Sombrero" socks and dropped a stitch on the first row, which resulted in them being pulled out to start again. Two rows of the said socks were done this weekend. The reason for the rest of the my failed knitting is below.

While I won't go into too much detail, it may be wise to stop reading now if you are of a delicate disposition.

We met up in a certain pub on Saturday night for dinner. The pub is part of a large chain and selected for its child friendliness. I had prawn risotto. We had a lovely evening - catching up on everyone's news. One girl got married in Spain two years ago, another went travelling through Uganda and Rwanda on a gorilla safari for three weeks and came back with the most amazing photos and video footage. So, all in all, we had a lovely night.

Three hours after eating. I began to feel ill. One hour later I was vomiting for Britain, and that was how the rest of the night passed. We were staying at the BF's parents' house, as were the SIL and husband, their baby and two other pals from the reunion. So, I spent the night trying to do this quietly. (As I work in public health, I passed the time in the bathroom, playing guess the germ, too). Not fun. It lasted all day Sunday too, and I was too weak to knit.

Whilst I was absolutely fine yesterday, I was still feeling too weak. Very annoying.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Gilraen Tagged Me


1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment to tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


1. I worked as Women's Officer at my Student Union, sharing an office with the Welfare Officer who was from Dartford, Kent. I'm from Durham. Through general chatting we discovered we were very distantly related through marriage because of distant cousins marrying in Sunderland.

2. I seem to bring out violent tendencies in minor celebrities. I was knocked down by Jimmy Saville. He was running the "Great North Walk" and as he was jogging along, saying "Mornin', mornin' guys and gals!" he knocked me over. His minder said sorry. Richard Fairbrass from "Right Said Fred" stood on my fingers. My pint was on the stage and me and my pal were leaning on the stage. He said sorry. (My friend Pete was sworn at by John Noakes. John Noakes! "Blue Peter" John Noakes. And, my SIL swears that Gary Linekar swore at her when he played for Spurs - their training ground was near her college).

3. "Army of Darkness" (part of the "Evil Dead" trilogy) is one of my favourite movies and at the other extreme I love "101 Dalmations" with Glenn Close. They both have me in fits of laughter.

4. I really like ducks. And penguins. I have no idea why.

5. I used to parachute but I'm scared of heights... though there are several factors to consider. When you jump out of a plane, the ground is too far away to do you any damage. When you're standing on something high, you can vividly imagine meeting the ground face-to-face in a hurry.

6. I studied journalism as my first degree. I now work in public health.

7. I learned to scuba dive in the Red Sea, but I didn't like it. I loved seeing everything - the coral, the fish, even the moray eel...it was all fantastic. It just doesn't make sense taking a little tin of air into an environment where you can't breathe and everything wants to kill you... that moray eel (have you seen the teeth on those things?), the lion fish (how quickly would you like to be stung to death?) the clown fish with their psychotic aggression to their own reflection in your mask ("Finding Nemo" was a lie), the angel fish (that lurk) and all these other things that bite, sting, stab or are just slimy. I'm with Billy Connolly on this.

8. I can canoe, ride horses and fence (with swords rather than garden boundaries) and I had a bash at rock climbing with the mountaineering club, though I didn't like that, (See no. 5). I haven't done any of these for a long time however, and I haven't jumped out of a plane since I broke my arm at a party. Damn good party, it has to be said.

Right, I'm tagging: Seahorse, Auntie Noo and Fraggle Knits, 'cos I haven't tagged them before.

Erm, change of plan, because Seahorse and Auntie Noo seem to have been tagged to within an inch of their lives.... Fraggle Knits, I May Be Knitting A Ranch House and Knitting To Stay Sane.

Latest Knitting Progress

I briefly lost my sock mojo - actually, I got sick of making socks. However, this case of Second Sock Syndrome only lasted until Friday morning, when I had to go to London. Socks really are perfect for knitting on the train.

They're a compact knitting project and everyone looks at me like I'm the carriage weirdo. Marvellous. This means the real weirdo doesn't talk to me.

Anyway, I've finally finished my second pair of "Opal Hundertwassers", and it was about time too. I wasn't keen on them as I was making them - didn't really like the colourway, but I love the finished product. So here are my new favourite socks. Fickle, moi?

"Paisley" (Rowan Classic Weekend) is progressing at a rate of knots. (Good grief!) I've been sewing as I go, as you may have noticed I loathe and detest sewing up. I've finished the bulk of it and am now onto knitting up the bands and later the collar.

This is a really incredibly easy pattern to follow. Above is a pic of the left band's progress. The pattern says to knit the band and then slip stitch in place. As I have no idea what slip stitch is and am too lazy to look it up, I've knitted it in place and it seems to be working rather well, with minimal seam-showing.

(This is all "Tulip's" fault (Rowan 41). Once I learned how to knit the bands in place, rather than sewing them on, it became a new "thing" for me).

One issue with this pattern, is that I can't for the life of me work out why I couldn't knit this with the main 'body' of the fronts, rather than knitting it on afterwards.

And Gilraen has tagged me. Off to have a look now.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Normal Service Resumes

Many, many thanks again everyone for the kind words. I've had lots of support from my pals at work, from you all and other people who chat on the Knitting Forum. It has really helped.

Anyway, on Saturday I went to "Ring-a-Rosie" (Whitley Bay) with my Mam and did a little shopping, well a bit of shopping, ok, ok, I got a good haul.

Here's a copy of Zoe Mellor's nursery knits. There's a few things in here that I want to make for my niece/nephew/bump, not least the moon and stars blanket on the front cover. My SIL had a scan last week and the baby is due December 3rd. Its big sister was born December 23rd. My brother and his wife do like their Christmas babies!

You will also have noticed that I raided the shop's "Rowan - Damask" stocks. The 'Serpentine' (the blue one) is to be used in "Bonita" (Rowan 41) and the 'Lava' (the red one) for another "Tulip". I enjoyed making that and I think another one wouldn't do any harm. :-)
Below is a shot of "Paisley" (Rowan Weekend) in "Wendy Aran - Blackberry". It's not the greatest picture but it does show the true colour.

So far, I have done the back, the left front and am half way up the right front.
I've also decided to join Stashalong for a month in the first instance, though the target is until "Ally Pally".
I have:
More than enough "Wendy Aran" to finish "Paisley"
"Wendy Aran - Heather" (I think) to make "Samus" (Knitty)
"DB Cathay" to make a cardi from the "Cathay" book
"Twilleys Freedom Spirit - Fire" to make another wrap over cardi
"Rowan - Damask" for another "Tulip" and "Bonita" (Rowan 41)
"Opal - Lollipop" to make "Archie" and "Snug" (Rowan Babies)
"Snuggly" Stuff to make a pixie coat for Bump
"Sirdar - Dune" for a scarf
"DB Baby Cashmerino" to make the moon and stars blanket
"Rowan Cashsoft Aran" to make the "Bonnie" Bag and Scarf (Rowan Weekend)
Then there's:
1x "Trekking", 2x "Opal Hundertwasser", 1x "Opal - Rainforest - Peacock", 2x "Opal Rainforest 2" and 3x "Colinette Jitterbug" for socks for me.
Some laceweight cotton - maybe "Branching Out"
Lots of orphan balls to use up in charity knitting
Good grief, there's more than I thought! What fun! :-)

Monday, 14 May 2007

Quick Update

Thanks for the kind words and moral support, everyone. Normal knitting commentary will be resumed shortly - I've been taking pix - but just wanted to let you know the latest.

A very nice policeman came around on Friday morning to take my statement. I had to give him directions to my house because, according to him, we live at the nice end of his patch, and he never has reason to visit! There was another incident on Thursday afternoon where a scabby-teenage-chavvy-bitch smacked another woman in the face and, apparently, the police think they have a suspect.

I walked to work this morning and, when I got home from my Mam's yesterday afternoon, I also had a stroll past where I was hit. It's sheer bloody-mindedness that keeps me going! :-)

There is no bruising on my nose and the swelling has gone down. There's a little cut on my nose and the inside of my mouth is cut up because of the impact against my teeth. However, this will heal. So, all is well.

Thank you again. Knitting progress and SEX pix tomorrow (or Wednesday).

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Yet Another Dose of Outrage

Apologies for the language in this post.

I'm missing my knitting group tonight. Why? I was punched in the face earlier.

I was walking home from work, about ten minutes walk away from home, when I saw two teenagers walking towards me - a girl and a boy, both in their late teens. She bawled at me, (as a lot of kids do): "Have you got any cigarettes?"

I said, as I usually do when asked this: "No, sorry."

So far, so normal. I continued walking and her fist came from nowhere, smacking me at the bottom of my nose. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and then wasn't sure whether I wanted to take a photograph of the scally bitch or call the police. Then I realised there was blood pouring out of my nose.

At this point I just wanted to get home and set off walking around the corner, up the side road.

I'll also mention out here that this happened next to the A34 which is a busy road out of Manchester. Although it's a dual carriage at this stretch of the road, it runs through a residential area. I've lived here for nearly four years and it's a nice place to be.

There were a lot of cars going past and I just felt really embarrassed. I didn't want to be standing by the road, covered in blood, waiting for the police. However, two lovely girls had seen what had happened and pulled up (in their car) alongside me. They quickly got out. One of them rang the police and asked for an ambulance, while the other found as many tissues as she could for me.

They stayed with me and we chatted about how shocked we were - they for seeing it, and me for experiencing it. I called the BF, who was at home, and he drove around to find me: arriving at the same time as the ambulance.

The ambulance crew were great - they spent thirty minutes checking out that I was ok. It seemed like an incredibly long time for what turned out to be a very minor 'injury'. I decided not to go to A&E. While swollen, my nose isn't actually broken - it's just hurts.

I don't like crying in front of people I don't know so I held it together until the ambulance crew were finished with me. The BF knows this and he was standing in the doorway making jokes about the lack of "CSI" equipment.

There was nothing remotely scary about this situation. There was no threat - all the kids ask for cigarettes in the same way, with varying degrees of politeness. I've walked past groups of kids who seemed much more intimidating, with no consequences whatsoever. There was absolutely no warning. The bitch's fist came from nowhere.

I feel a lot better now. I'm angry that this fucking troll thought she had the right to thump me. I keep feeling her fist smack into my nose. I'm planning to take the day off tomorrow as I feel a bit wobbly and my face hurts. However, I will be walking to and from work, as usual, on Monday.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007


I'm outraged for a second time this week.

Have we been robbed again? No. Has the insurance company refused to cough up? No. The cheque is already in the post which is astounding, as opposed to outrageous.

It is an insurance related story.

The BF and I trotted off to see the mortgage lender's recommended insurer to discuss life insurance. (The BF plans to call "the boys" next month to have me bumped off... not if I get to the phone first). In the process of moving house, I think it's fair to say that, you will usually have to deal with a lot of salesmen who think they are good at "the patter". While you are trying to get your head around the maths involved and considering just what you would do if you suddenly caught a dose of Black Death; there's this 'comedian' telling you 'amusing' and 'witty' anecdotes.

We were answering the questions about which cancers and strange diseases run in the family when the insurance advisor reached the "HIV question": "Have you ever tested positive for HIV?"

Before we could say anything, the advisor launched into another 'joke'.

"What I mean is, do you bat for the other side?"

My jaw cracked on the desk, as it headed down towards the floor, and the advisor continued, oblivious to how shocked we were. He had apparently said this to another person who was gay, and our 'hero' in this tale had actually been embarrassed. I told him that we found his attitude offensive and that being gay isn't an indicator that anyone would be HIV positive. (There's always room for some health education even when I am seriously pissed off).

I am so angry. I'm planning to make a complaint about this man's attitude. I wonder if he'll be sent on equality/homophobia awareness training.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

New Cardi for Me

I'm knitting "Paisley" (RYC Classic Weekend) in "Wendy Aran" (blackberry) for myself. After finished the stocking for Thomas I decided that I've actually had enough of socks *whispered quietly*.

I just wanted to make something different and it has been ages since I knitted anything chunky. It has been raining all weekend so it was definitely the weather for warmer knitting. :-) I'm now shaping the armholes so am making really good progress. (No pix yet, sorry).

I bought "Wendy Aran" to make it because at the time I couldn't afford the "RYC Cashsoft Aran". However, I also preferred the shade of blackberry I picked and the yarn is knitting up beautifully. The stitches are really clear and it's holding the ribbing pattern (at the bottom of the jacket - 32 rows)very clearly.

The BF's sister came to visit with Thomas and she loved the stocking I made. It's really nice when gifts are so appreciated.

PS The garden shed was broken into at the weekend - for the second time in six weeks. The thieving little toads got away with the BF's bike. It's the third time someone has tried to steal his bike - once from work, twice from the shed - so I suppose it was "third time, catchy time". They took nothing else so I think we have actually been quite lucky.

I was outraged. I keep watching the kids cycling past in case I spot one of the little buggers on a 'new' one.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Ridiculous Santa Preparation

My nephew is now all kitted out to receive ridiculous amounts of Christmas presents. I finished the stocking. (I also can't for the life of me work out why this is typing underlined. There isn't an underline function key on blogger).

Above is the almost complete stocking (sans toe shaping) being modelled by the BF. He looks like he's wearing a painted cast.

I (underlining ends) didn't expect to finish so quickly, but I really enjoyed planning it and making it up as I went along....

...Et voila!

PS Mortgage agreed Monday, survey done on Tuesday, looking to complete at the end of June. Hopefully our buyers will get their survey done soon, just so we can get everything sorted.