Sunday, May 28, 2006

here's ...........Cast-on


....while I should be working.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Just as well I drink decaff!

Or I'd be completely wired. I don't know how many cups of coffee I've had today and it's only 12.15. I've gone past the peak of yesterday's optimism - my assignment has me by the throat and is drowning me in the depths of despair......

Thursday, May 25, 2006

last yarn purchase

was some time ago, as you can see from the 'ticker tape' on the blog title.

kind of hard to see from the pics, but the purchases are two lots of Habu, from K1 Yarns I aim to make up a simple pattern to knit this lot into a simple, open shell. The second lot will be a variant on Katherine's own pattern, 'Cricket'. If you are in the Glsgow area, you should drop into the shop. Not only does Katherine stock great yarn, but her own patterns are pretty neat, too. In the mean time, I am trying to knit 'River' from the last-but-one Rowan mag. It's not that it's difficult, it's just that I have NO TIME at the moment. Still, I am making progress on my assignment and hope to finish it this long weekend. Well, that's probably a bit over-optimistic, but I'm gonna try real hard. In fact, this is my only real break tonight. As soon as my Gaelic tutorial is finished at 7.00pm, I intend to come straight back here and get stuck in...

I'm really into podcasting, now that I've worked it out. One of my favourites is Cast on , which will not be a surprise to anyone has listened to it. I find that some North American accents grate on my ear (I say this in the full realisation that many people probably get p***** off with mine!) but I could listen to this woman for hours. I love most of the music she plays, too - not what I would normally choose, so all the more refreshing for that. So, all in all, I am in love with my iPod Shuffle. When I first heard about them I thought they were useless pieces of plastic. Not any more. I've eaten a big (well, fairly slim, really) piece of humble pie on that one. So, before I humiliate myself for an hour, trying to speak Gaelic, I'm off to Cast On. TTFN

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

Mr India and his university friends started playing Dungeons & Dragons. Twenty-odd years later, they're still at it. No fancy store-bought materials for them. Nope, they invent their own worlds and characters (some have been on the go longer than Coronation Street, I swear). They are Serious about this. I don't mind. It's Mr India's knitting. But, check this out:
India - So, darling - how has your day been ?
Mr India - wonderful. Everyone turned up, the company has been great. Amazing food - by the way, how was your baked potato ?
India Oh, it was fine, don't choke on the great food, hope you have a hangover glad you're having such a nice time.
Mr India - what you up to?
India - assignment
Mr India - oh, that's great
India - ?!
Mr India - is it going well ?
India - well, I've been at it for hours, so I need a break now.
Mr India - oh, why don't you do some of your Gaelic assignment then?
And I thought he was a sensible, sensitive kind of chap.....

A well-earned break

I'm off for tea now - here's a little something I prepared earlier. Actually, that's a teensy-weensy bit of a fib. It was last night's tea, but I didn't get round to posting it. Homemade Cauliflower Cheese - mmm - mmm. And I'm talking made -the-cheese-sauce-from-scratch-myself homemade - no c***** bought sauces here, thanks very much. Now, I didn't grind the flour, churn the butter, grow the cauliflower or make the cheese, but I reckon it still counts as good, wholesome food.

I've been slogging away at 'It' since 11.30. Now, I know I had promised to start at 10.30, and I did take an hour for lunch (well, I just had to finish that novel), but I am feeling quite hopeful. That's when I'm not in a flat out panic. But I think I have some structure now. And I have thought of another way of asking pre-schoolers about gender-stability - don't I lead an exciting life. So. I.deserve.a.break.

Before said break,, I need to bake a cake. Banana or lemon?? I'm off to a Buddhist Day Retreat tomorrow, and we are all taking some food (vege, natch). I figured a cake might go down a treat. I'm a bit worried about tomorrow. I'm not very good at the old meditating bit. So far, walking meditation has been the easiest, followed by lying down. Only trouble is, lying down makes one prone to the odd 40 winks. But I will not be able to sit for more than about 15 minutes. Dilemma time. Fall over or fall asleep? Which one would YOU go for?

While you are giving that a thought, here's something to rest your peepers on. The view down from the house from the bottom of the garden. Lovely at this time of year, isn't it? Love those bluebells

made to be mine

I want it, I need it, I must have it.... Ok . Deep breath. Calm down. Think of all the Buddhism tha you have been practising of late. Such strong attachment cannot be a good thing. Ok. Back to reality. I saw this book on knitted hats by Ann Modesit on The Crafty Otter's Blog and I will not be able to rest until it's in my hot little hands. However, I have placed a book embargo on myself, so I am going to add it to my Amazon wish list. I'm sure that at some point MR India will decide that he just has to get me it. Won't you, dear???

Thursday, May 18, 2006


My poor Secret PAl has inadvertently 'outed' herself. I have to admit that I laughed like a drain - only because I keep coming so close to doing the same thing myself.... I'm trying not to take a peek - wonder how long my resolve will last?

I have already sent something winging on its way to my SP. Haven't told her yet - I want it to be a complete surprise.Course, I want to blog about it - I really like what's on its way. Hope she does, too. Isn't it great sending someone something that you are sure they'll love ;0)

Oh, by the way, SP. You asked if there was anything I would like..... well, I've really enjoyed using KoolAId for dyeing- that isn't so easy to get a hold of here. So, I suppose if you had a few packs looking for a good home, I'm sure I could oblige.

On the studying front, I finally feel like I've made a reasonable start of my assignment. I'll be hard at it tomorrow night and all day Saturday, trying to break the back of it. I'm supposed to go to Gaelic on Saturday morning, but I can't justify the time. I'm going to be at a day retreat at the Buddhist Centre on Sunday, so have to work hard the rest of the time.

Speaking of the Buddhist Centre, I've done a fair amount of talking to folk at the Centre, and to various friends. My feelings are fairly much as they were before - I will remain a bit detatched and will keep the sceptical awareness, but otherwise get on with things.

One of our 'girls', Isis, is a bit under the weather - she's got 'wet eczema' and Athyr is making it worse by constantly licking the affected area, so they've had to be split up. They are not amused. Neither are we - Siamese are vocal at the best of times, but when they're naffed off.......

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

SP 8

oooh, I'm all excited - my SP has been in touch! Those of you who know me (seem to be repeating myself a bit of late) will know that I find suspense very difficult to deal with - I quite often read the last chapter of a book when I am only halfway through. So, not knowing who my SP is will drive me up the wall - I might have to do a bit of snooping. I have some clues - California, and just started a Green Gables Tee, I think. Hmm....

Continuing the SP theme, I fell out with Mr India tonight. I was trying to pay something with PayPal. It didn't go very well. Neither did the offer of assistance....Oops.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hoist on my own Petard....

I detested The Davinci Code. To be more precise, it was the hype that drove me up the wall. I couldn't believe the way that sensible people were getting all worked up about what was said in the, erm, plot. I won't go on. Suffice to say that if Mr India buys me tickets for the movie, I suspect it'll be his way of telling me he doesn't love me any more.

So, why the Petard??? I got iTunes working. I got podcasts going. I subscribed to Woman's Hour podcast ( I know, so middleaged.....). What was topic that was downloaded today? Yep. You got it.....

Saturday, May 13, 2006

forgot to say

I've made contact with my Secrte Pal. I SO want to say what her blog is, and just in time I remind myself not to do so.....

Legs cut from under me

Today is Wesak which is a celebration of the Enlightenment of the Buddha. Many of my friends know that I have been exploring Buddhism lately. If I continue with this exploration, I don't know at which point, if any, I will feel entitled to call myself a Buddhist. And does that label matter, anyway?

So, some of my friends will not be surprise to know that I attended the celebration of Wesak which was held at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable, and moving, experience. Being the kind of person who is attracted to ritual, I enjoyed the seven-fold puja (note: I tried to put a link in here, but it wouldn't work) and the sight of the shrine lit up with many candle flames, covered with chrysanthemum petals was very moving. However, there is much more to Buddhism than ritual! Much of the ethics of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order fits in with how I feel just now, how I would like to live my life, where I might want to go in the future.

So. I was horrified on Thursday. I did a Google search about Wesak, as I had intended to post a bit about the celebration, and what was happening in the Tramway today. What I found was horrific. There have been accusation of the most awful kind against the FWBO. One of the centres in England was accused of behaviour which, quite frankly, beggars belief. If the word 'Moonies' was substituted for FWBO, that gives you an idea of what I mean. I was stunned. Upset. Horrified. Speechless.

I took a deep breath. Calmed myself. Spoke to my husband. I do not feel that there are problems of this nature at the centre I have been attending, Quite the reverse. However, as my husband and I agreed, a degree of healthy scepticism is required (which I have been employing ever since I began to attend). I have spoken to a fellow attendee, who has had a lot of contact via her husband. I have spoken to a member of the association. I feel much better. He did not deny that in the past there had been some difficulties - I am not going into the details of what we discussed, but I am much more at ease. I do not feel that the FWBO as it stands is any more of a 'cult' than the Catholic church or any other mainstream 'religious' organisation (in otherwords, I think there is an element of cultish behaviour in all these things, it just depends on what the type of behaviour is). I feel that the FWBO centre that I attend is staffed and attended by the normal cross-section of humanity that have an interest in such things. I feel that the people whom I have met are open, genuine people who have no more of a hidden agenda than the rest of us (make of that what you will!).

Where does all of this leave me? Well, I have spoken to Mr India and a few of my friends about the content of this website and my reaction to it. They will keep a little eye on me to see if I act out of character (or any more so than usual...). I will discuss the situation again with one of the order members. I will continue to keep my sceptical eye employed as before. And then I'm going to relax and enjoy the experience and the company of some kind, open hearted and generous people. Now, if I tell you all that I can't buy anymore yarn because all of my cash is going to the FWBO, you'll know there was a problem 0:)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bloglines and 'stuff'

Ok. Think I have finally sorted all the bits'n'bobs out. The feeds I have subscribed to seem to be updating. And, if any of you lovely folk who drop by my blog so desire, I think you can now subscribe to mine. Go on, make my day :0)

I have finally put fingers to keyboard in respect of my assignment. It hurts. In more ways than one. I have a sinus infection at the moment and am not on the correct antibiotic. Unfortunately, I now have less than a month to go, so I cannot sit in a miserable heap and feel sorry for myself. I know, it hasn't stopped me before, but I really have to get the finger out on this. It's Wesak this week - what some of the organisers at Glasgow Buddhist Centre fondly call 'Buddhist Christmas'. I am going to try to take some of the Buddhist philosophy to heart - and remind myself that nothing lasts forever, even the pain of this darn assignment (and sinus infection). Continuing on the plus side, I have just found the Rebecca mag that I had done the usual with and tossed negligently to one side misplaced, so my reward knitting is going to be the cute little crossover cardigan that lots of folk did last year. Hey, I don't mind being retro. My reward knitting was going to be 'Cricket', a nifty little design from Katherine at K1yarns. Knit in a Habu 'paper' yarn, it's gorgeous. Too gorgeous. So, I'm saving it as a really special treat - to begin the day the assignment is finally handed in

Here's a calming image to finish with - hope you guys have a restful week view of Scottish loch and hillside

Saturday, May 06, 2006

nearly forgot

I finished this:- It's the Green Gables Tee - I'll need to add the link later. I knat it in Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. Although the yarn did remain quite 'splitty' as it was worked with, I wore it for a day in nursery with no problems, so I am hopeful with regards to its durability. It only took about a week to do in my spare time. Denise circulars were employed for the projects, which was a stroke of genius on my part, if I ssay so myself - being able to adjust the length of the needle so easily as the stitches increase/decreased in number was very satisfying.


You guys are really patient with me - I feel like I've just started Primary 1 halfway through, and I haven't a clue what is happening in class. ...

So, thanks to 'anonymous' who reminded me to switch on my RSS feed - it's great that there are folk out there who want to keep up with my bloc ;0) Kind of cheers me up. I think I have done that now - in which case, I also need to thank another blocker, right - here for the instructions on how to do so. In answer to KAthleen's question, I think (notice that hesitancy again) that it allows me to receive an automatic update when specific blogs have been updated. I think that individual blogs might have to have the 'RSS feed' enabled in order to be included - if that is the case, it might explain why I haven't been able to add some blogs to Bloglines. In which case I shall just have to maintain two lists.

Taking a look in my FO spot on the sidebar, you will notice that I have finished the April project from Project Spectrum . And here it is - ta-dah! yellow hand-knit facecloth in dragon sclae pattern Some of you might note that there has been no progress on it of late. Some of you might notice that it is now May. Some of you might conclude that I was late. Some of you might suspect that I have been frantically trying to find the 'obvious' place where I left one of my thousands few works in progress. Some of you may even imagine that I am going to pass this off as completed by the deadline when in fact it wasn't. Me? I couldn't possible comment...... My friend Heather shudders at the thought of abusing knitting in this way (washing with it, I mean). She may have a point. But when you've committed to a knitalong, have limited time and are not so keen on the colour, extreme steps are sometimes necessary. That's my excuse, anyway.

So here we are, time for another colour theme.  button for Project Spectrum May This one will be much easier. In fact you will be astonished to know that I already have several green projects on the go. No, really, I do. I'm toying with the idea of finishing the Oxenburg scarf, but it seems a bit too hot (stop sniggering, we do get the occasional day with the temp above 5 degrees) to be working on a KSH scarf. However, I am in love with the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino sock pattern, and I have some green of the required yarn in that. Decisions, eh.

ON a personal note, my son had his birthday recently, so we tootled off to spend some time with him. We took him and his girlfriend out for a meal and had a great time. He seems much happier than of late (I think having a part time job is good for him) and every time I visit at the moment he seems more mature and sophisticated in his outlook. He's a lovely boy, and from what I can see, treats his girlfriend really well. I'm so proud of him. And, if I'm honest, by extension I'm proud of the way I have brought him up.

Thinking of myself has led me in a natural way to think about some of the aspects of Buddhism, which I have been exploring lately. pink and white cherry blossomIt is hard to accept that everything is temporary. This was brought home to me when I was looking at the blossom on the trees outside my living room. I quite often find myself enraptured by the mix of the pink and the white flowers, and I remember well the feeling of loss that I had last year as they faded and died. Guess I have some way to go.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We interrupt this service... let you know that India is being a bit of a smart a*** at the moment, so please be very forgiving of the Bloglines carry on....

I've managed to subscribe to Bloglines, which was a long, painful and messy business. Now I just have to work out how to get all my links in, so I'm afraid I've got two lots of links at the moment. I'll sort it out as soon as I can. Honest

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Pal 8

ok, here goes....
1 What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Fave yarns - Noro, especially silk Garden and Kureyon, Lorna's Laces,Colinette, Koigu, KidSilk Haze. Really don't like acrylic. Allergic to Rowan's Kid CLassic
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? A very large glass vase
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Since I was 4. I would say I'm advanced.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Erm, I think so, but It's current;y way out of date
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Vanilla
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Fruit Thins - don't think you get them now. Also like Sherbet Lemons, Cough Candy Twists, Werthers Originals adnd Green & Blacks chocolate
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I spin - on 2 wheeels and I have 3 handspindles
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Katie Melua, Greenday, Rocky Horror, Meatloaf, Snow PAtrol. I have an iPod (and I can work it now!)
9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I like violets, purples, pinks.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Mrried, son at uni, 2 Siamese cats.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Wear lots of hats and scarves, but not usually all at one go.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? mmm - I'm a bit of a slapper when it comes to knitting - I love it all!
13. What are you knitting right now? Neck-down t-shirt, various socks, about to knit a garment in Habu 'paper' yarn, couple of scarves, shawl
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I don't know - haven't really had that many. I imagine that I would (that isn't vety helpful, is it?)
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Brittany White Birch, rosewood.. Prefer circular, but would rather have wooden staraight than metal circular.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Tep to both
17. How did you learn to knit? My mum taught me when I was 4
18. How old is your oldest UFO? No idea - at least 20 years I think.
19. What is your favorite holiday? Walking, in Skye or somewhere hot and sunny
20. Is there anything that you collect? Books and dangly silver earrings
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Koigu and Lornas Laces Sock Yarn. I quite fancy One Skein, or that new book about cabled knitting - wish I could remember what it was called....Inspired cable knits,just looked i up on Amazon. Oh, and Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Love sock knitting. Oh my goodness - 8 and a half inches long. And I'll measure the rest when I can find my tape. 24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)4th November