Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why stick with one colour if you can have them all?

I had hoped to have loads of pix for this post but despite a warm muggy day, the light never seemed quite right so I will try again tomorrow.


I have been doing a lot of dyeing lately and really need to update my Etsy shop and/or creat a website. There is laceweight alpaca/silk/cashmere in subtle browns and greens and sock yarn in deep sludgy colours or irridescent oil slick colours. I have been making felt and dyeing it and even dyeing the feathers off the duck when we clipped its wing.


I have also finished my Noro mittens, the June ones for the
Ravelry Mitten a Month Group.


and joined
Sylvie's Fibre Swap on Ravelry too. I created a mosaic for my swap partners to get an idea of the things I like.

My creation

A while back I ordered lots of worsted weight wool/silk dyed in fabulous colours from Mystic Creation Yarns.


However having read the experiences of lots of disappointed people on Ravelry who said the colours were not fixed properly; I thought it best to fix it before using. It was just as well I did as the colour ran and ran. I soaked the skeins in vinegar water for a couple of days then microwaved each skein twice and after cooling washed and softened them. The colours are much faded but at least it wont run now when I use it. It is also nowhere near worsted weight only just a DK I would say.


Finally with the days of glorious weather we have been enjoying the garden.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keep on Blogging

I am getting so bad at keeping this blog up - I blame Ravelry. Although I notice other bloggers haven't fallen by the wayside even if they are active on Ravelry.

I have been very busy, with animals, knitting, felting and especially dyeing and I do have photos so I will post before the end of the weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WWKIP and Alpacas

Well I am off the pills completely now. The sun is shining. I am feeling creative and able to stay awake longer - I am even up by 7am these days. So apart from achey joints, unremitting aging, rising prices and world hunger things feel pretty good. Thanks for good advice given and hugs sent.

Yesterday was Worldwide Knitting in public day and we had an event locally in the Salon de Thé of Papillon in St Fraimbault (a local tourist attraction village because of the wonderful flower plantings). About 10 knitters turned up and we had a raucous knit in and tea and cake (very yummy rhubarb and apple tart for me!)

There was even another Raveller - Spinnerglors


We even pursuaded Rachel, the restauranteuse, (is that a word?) to have a go - nice choice of colour, Rachel.


It was really great to see my friend Alex (who lives down the road with 13 alpacas) on weekend leave from the rehab hospital where she is staying for a couple of weeks after a stroke.

She has been knitting a ???? which has been growing organically...

Here she is trying out it's possibilities as exotic underwear.


Actually it is cria season on the alpaca farm and Alex's favorite, Hermione, had just given birth to Ron a month early (yes there is a theme to the naming - there is a Lupin as well). So we went there afterward to ogle him.

Poor darling.


His legs are so long, and thin as matchsticks.


He is spending most of his time under a heat lamp at the moment.



I will keep you updated on his progress.

Alex's husband, John, has also been shearing and I have reserved 2 alpaca blankets, just need to save up now.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Reality bites

Musings on life, depression and growing old.

I spent most of last night unable to sleep, for physical and mental reasons. So I had plenty of time to think; and this is what I thought.

I have been withdrawing from my ADs (Seroplex) for 3 weeks now, and the day before yesterday the dose dropped again for a few weeks before I stop altogether. I am starting to worry about things and think about things I haven’t done for some time. This is how it goes.

On Thursday night I went into hospital for my sleep assessment. I spent the night with tubes up my nose, a clip on my finger and a thingy taped to my throat (by a big square of tape) and attached to a computer. Of course as soon as I was attached I felt desperate to pee and the nearest toilet was not close enough to reach. So a bedpan it was. In France they seem to think you can use one whilst lying down! I digress - I’m not sure how it went yet but it was not as uncomfortable as it sounds. All the stuff was removed and I went home. Later that day the patch where the tape was became inflamed and very irritated. Despite witch hazel and creams it was one of the things keeping me awake at night. More to the point whilst dealing with it I was using a magnifying mirror and had the realisation that my skin was all loose and crinkly. I have old persons skin. Whaaaagh.

My arthritis was also playing up so I couldn’t get comfortable and I finally resorted to painkillers. Then I started coughing as my throat was continually drying up (this is one of the sleep problems – I am guessing I must sleep with my mouth open and it dries my throat).

Add to that all the things going through my mind. Money worries. Nothing new here, either for myself or most of the people I know. We live in a depressed rural area and work is sometimes not very forthcoming. The surprise is that I hadn’t been worrying about it up to now. Then thinking about people, what they thought of me, was I being taken advantage of, was I appreciated etc. I mean, life is too short, this is not something I am prone to worrying about – why now? To top it all when I eventually fell asleep I dreamt my mum was having a go at me about something and really did not like me. Now I know this isn’t true. I love my mum but I also know she is very critical and has been all my life and deep down I feel she doesn’t like me even if I know that isn’t so (having said that she has never told me she does).

So all in all a pretty disturbed and disturbing night. I guess a lot is down to the AD withdrawal and I need to get a grip or I will be back on them. I felt better when I was just feeling above it all (even though I wasn’t aware the ADs were making me feel that way) but that can be dangerous especially as far as money is concerned, a little worry is useful.

About 8 years ago I was on Prozac and seeing a therapist (during the time I shared a house with my mum). I was also introduced to the Soka Gakkai by a friend. This is a lay Buddhist organisation; the name literally means ‘Value Creating Society’. There form of practice is chanting (you may have heard the chant ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’.) I believe that this practice enabled me to withdraw from the Prozac with no problem and sort my life out and still sustains me today. I have lapsed a bit though and usually only chant a few times a week.

So I need a plan.

I need to start chanting regularly– ideally at least half an hour a day.
I need to get back on the anti arthritis diet with a vengeance, and lose some weight too, for the sake of my health.
I need to put more effort into an online store and try to make a regularish income out of it no matter how small.
I need to stay in better contact with my mum and try to have the best relationship we can – she wont be around forever.

Well enough of the psychodrivel, if you waded your way through that congratulations.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Animal Stories

I real must try and stay awake long enough to blog every now and then!

Tomorrow I have my sleepover in hospital to try and see what the problem is. So fingers crossed they find something that is easy to remedy.

I meant to post these pictures ages ago.

These are the ducklings born on Easter Day. They were so adorable, but the whole lot kept making a run for it down to the river which was pretty fast flowing and we lost a few.


mum and 2 ducklings

We eventually incarcerated them with the one remaining chicken and now have 2 almost adult ducklings - still no idea of sexes though.


ducks paddling

I love this picture of the 3 angora goats (before clipping) eyeballing the new family. The goats are halfway through clippng at the moment - so a bit of a strange sight.


This is the latest addition to the household - Woody. We were on the way to the woods a couple of months ago and saw him wandering around in the road. When Keith opened the landrover door to investigate he jumped in and sat next to him. They haven't been out of each others company since.

He had no collar, tattoo or microchip so pretty soon I think we will have him microchipped and castrated and call him ours.

woody in basket

He is absolutely adorable. So gentle and pleasant natured, not at all yappy. He also learnt pretty quickly (as we did) who is in charge - the cats.


The next addition is hopefuly going to be a brood of chicks in about 3 weeks. The sole chicken has gone all broody, but the silly cluck was just sitting on the dummy egg! I got hold of 6 (hopefully) fertile eggs and she is happily sitting on them now.