Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Here she is in all her glory.
And while the benefits of her presence are many, there is butt one drawback. And that was no typo - you just can't hide from the size of your ass when you've got one of these.....


Monday, May 28, 2007

8 random things

OK - tagged by Yvette.
I'm going to have to give this some thought, and add to it later, but one to be going on with :-
1. I talk to random strangers. Folk who know me won't be in the least bit surprised ;0) I keep saying that I'll stop, but to no avail. I'll be in a yarn shop, or waiting at a queue in a festival, and conversation keeps bubbling out of me. If I had a lot of money, I dare say I would be classed as 'eccentric', but given that I don't have, and I'm developing a somewhat, erm, unusual way of dressing, I think some folk reckon I'm a bit barmy...
Added later-
2. I really like the sound that hard-soled shoes make on gravelly paths
3. I am phobic about the dentist and have to have IV sedation for treament
4. The Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite novels and I was so glad that the movies did it justice
5. I am learning to play the piano - it is a sloooow process.
6. I don't like flying but I managed to go to Venice four years ago. It was worth it.
7.I am a hoarder. But since watching documentaries about folk with hoarding tendencies, I am fighting the urge - binning rubbish, recycling and free-cycling. That makes it sound like I hoard rubbish, doesn't it? I don't !!!!! But I have recently been re-evaluating the kind of things I 'keep for later.'
8. I love my son. Every fibre of his being, even though we drive each other to distraction at times. I have acclimatised to his absence and no longer spend hours sitting in the bath crying. But I still miss him.....


Before and after

Wow - one bad photo', eh?
Anyway, my next hippari will be made with the body lining made separately, so that the seams will be hidden as much as possible - when I make a fully lined one, it will be 'reversible'. I did consider making this pink one with as many seams as possible concealed, but as I hadn't made an hippari before I decided that the best thing was to just follow the instructions.
That left me with the problem of the seams. I could've zigzagged them or turned them under, but in the end I decided to bind them with ribbon. I also considered machine v handsewn, and plumped for handsewn as being most likely to give me the result I was after. And it has :0)

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 27, 2007


This sock was a breeze to knit (except for the toe, which I left too late to start the shaping and had to frog, silly me). As you can see, the self-striping that Lilith dyed has behaved beautifully. I was expecting something weird to happen over the instep, but no. I think she's going to be dyeing up a storm at some point, so go check out her site real soon.

I've been trying a few other things. Such as tofu. Yep, who'd believe it. I always felt it was the food of the devil, and so did Dori and Val from the More Hip than Hippie podcast until they tried it with honey and tamari. It's amazing. Well, maybe that's taking it a bit far, but it was very tasty. Basically, get some firm tofu, soak up the extra moisture then cut into cubes. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry tofu until it is golden brown. While still in the pan on the heat, drizzle over some honey. Cook a little longer, then splash on some tamari and stir it around a bit more.


Labels: , ,

Friday, May 25, 2007

Do it for Darfur

If you are warm, dry and not being shot at, spare a thought for those less lucky. Disasters Emergency Committee


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Post the 3rd

Whew, heavy blogging today!

Thought I'd give a quick health update.

Eye - good, if slightly deflating, news. The problem with my vision is related to something 'fatal' - the ageing process ;0) I'm aware, and have been for some time, that my eyes take a little time to accomodate when I move from sewing/reading to watching TV. What I hadn't appreciated is that this is related to the reading problem. Put quite simply, now that I am no longer 21 (I know, so hard to believe), it takes more effort for my myopic eyes to do what they have always done so well - deal with fine detail and small print. What happens is that when I am tired, my eyes, the left one in particular,just down tools and give up. This makes a lot of sense - the problem doesn't happen all the time, tends to be later in the day and I notice it when my right eye is closed because I am rubbing it...due to tiredness.

Cardiac news - consultant thinks it's SVT. So, it's good to have a diagnosis. The downside (why does there always seem to be one?!) is that I am having some very unpleasant side effects.

BUT, and it is a big 'but', although I was feeling a bit fed-up at the start of the week, I feel better today.

As I keep saying, I'm warm, dry and not being shot at. Perspective. Helps to have some.


Not everyone's cup of macha

But I love it. Pink and green in all forms - dusky pink with soft olive, or 'crazy-ass bright' like this Hippari jacket that I've just finished.

This took about 6 hours from cutting to finish, done in 2x3hour blocks. The pattern is from Making Kimono and Japanese Clothing . While I have been waiting (im)patiently for Vianne to arrive, I decided to sew a few things that require no fitting (and mostly straight-line sewing!).

The patterns are in the back of the book, and they must be drawn to scale. It was a minor nuisance for impatient folk like me but the pattern was clear. The instructions for constructing the hippari were clear and I really enjoyed sewing this. In the photo below you can just see that this was taken before I finished the last part of the sleeve seams.

As Number Guy pointed out (bless him) the style of the jacket does make me look a bit on the chunky side, but I don't mind. I felt that my sartorial elegance (second time, woohoo!) really shone out yesterday when I combined it with my denim Thai Fisher Skirt and pink Doc Martens :0)

I did have one moment of doubt when I realised what I was doing last night - heading for my first Zen meditation meeting, as I continue my exploration of Buddhism. Was I going to look like some kind of nutter who had weird ideas about what Zen Buddhists look like?

Yes, possibly. But I still didn't care :0)

Labels: ,

Don't be afraid of the biscuits.

I really fancied lavender biscuits, so the ones over at Milk and Cookies seemed to fit the bill. I'd been convinced that the recipe contained lemon but I think I must have seen that somewhere else, so after a bit of trawling about I ended up following this recipe and added some vanilla and lemon rind.

My biscuits are much thinner than the ones in the original recipe - they spread out a lot. I was really put off by the lavender smell - it seemed so strong as to be inedible. But, nothing ventured and all that.... I hesitantly took a little nibble and.....they are delicious ;0) Clearly, the scent is stronger than the taste. We've got four people up for the weekend to play Dungeons and Dragons* with Number guy, so these'll be on the menu. I'll also be making Oaty Vanilla Cookies from Yarnstorm's blog, and sundry other edible goodies to boot

* Yep, I know lots of folk think that D&D is for nerds...but then, that's what a lot of folk think about knitting! D&D is Number Guy's way of keeping in touch with friends he made years ago. He doesn't drink, doesn't follow sport (YAY!), so this is his version of a knit'n'knatter. (And forget crumby/crappy commercial books, videos, films etc - their version is, well, sophisticated. Some of their worlds have been going for years - don' knock it if you haven't tried it. And they don't dress up;0) So no chance of getting to weave Number Guy an Elven Cloak, then.....)


Monday, May 21, 2007


I'm just loving this 'crazy-ass bright' yarn. Not for the first time, my photography leaves a lot to be desired. Not as much variation in the stripe over the instep as I expected. Partridge-eye heel.

I don't think this baby will suffer second-sock syndrome ;0)


Patience, patience

I had hope to introduce you to Vianne today, but she says she can't come for 4 weeks. Her big sister was up for a visit (in fact, she nearly came with me by mistake...) but I've decided that patience is what's called for.

Try telling that to the pink skirt, all zipped up and no hem to go...


Sunday, May 20, 2007

cool, real cool

For my first A-line skirt I struggled with an invisible zip. It's kinda cool, and I did a not bad job at all - really, it looks just like it's meant to. Except the very top, but that was a learning experience :0)

But - and it's a big 'but' - it was so hard to sew right next to the teeth without actually sewing into them. And yep, I had the correct zipper foot. But then I saw this: zipper tutorial. And it really works, as you can see.

Again, I learnt a couple of things. Like I need the top of the zip to be further down than I had it - sitting 'flush' with the top means it doesn't sit as neatly as it could, and this has confirmed what the problem with the top of the invisible zip but hey, I'm a novice. I'll get it right next time.

And another good thing - Number Guy was having some issues with the hem as he was helping me to mark it. Result? I'm getting my Christmas present early....Any guesses?


Here, poddy poddy poddy!

Hurumph! Works with a recalcitrant cat, but not, it would appear, with an iPod!

Although I am most certainly not an early adopter of technology (I'm always last to the party) when I fall, I fall hard. I love my iPod. It's my other half, my soul mate, the one who knows just what to say to cheer me up.


Ahem, just a little slip there. Fortunately for me, I have another. I know, I know, fickle. But I never promised that it would be a monogamous relationship, did I?

So, while I am charging the battery and dowloading more audio, here's a little pic to remind me of what spring in Glasgow can be like, 'cos it's a distant memory at the moment.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Il est arrivé



Edit: I think I may have casued a little confusion with just the pic and no explanation - this is just the start of the course, I am just about to begin....

Labels: ,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Confidence boost

So, I was sitting in class at uni tonight when one of the secretaries brought me a VIE - Very Important Envelope. In it was my marked Additional Support for Learning assignment that I sweated buckets over last year.


Even though most folk didn't know what it was, since they hadn't done the module at the same time as me, I mentally prepared a 'face.' The kind that doesn't let anyone see you're gutted. Cos I fully expected to be.

I opened the envelope a smidgin, slid the mark sheet out just far enough. There it was. The mark.

And it was.....Satisfactory. Yep. You sweat blood and tears and at the end of the day there are two options - satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Hmm, not very....satisfactory.

However, I got some excellent feedback - both in term of the quality of the feedback and what it said about my work. I'm delighted, to say the least. I done good.Real good :0)

But one of the best bits of feedback was about the two appendices, which contained 'Excellent work.' The reason that I am so pleased about this is that while this particular section of the assignment is research-based and grounded in all of the right 'stuff' like the rest of it, it is real work that I have done as a teacher.

Maybe I'm not so bad at this after all :0) ;0)

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Say that again.......?

So, the sewing continues. At the moment I have a thing for headbands. I know, I can imagine Heather wondering where my mind has gone, and consigning said articles to the bottom of a deep well along with ponchos and other such articles of sartorial elegance (I always wanted to use that phrase).

But I have managed to convince myself that these Heather Bailey bands look realy cool and nothing like an Alice band on a woman old enough to know better. Besides, I only have to wear it, not look at it.

So, this morning saw me taking out the scissors and fabric and in the blink of an eye, there it was:

Viewing myself from every possible angle with the aid of two mirrors, I somewhat uncertainly asked Number Guy if it looked ok.

'It looks great,' says he'Yuo remind me of a 1940s working girl!'.......

Now, I'm not sure how one comes back from that....but what I think he meant was that even though the 'knot' was worn at the back, under my up-turned hair, he was reminded of Rosie the Riveter.

I'm not sure which is the preferable option, now I come to think about it....

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Guess who can't sleep?

Every now and again, like most folk on this mortal coil, I go through a spate of sleepless nights. Still, at least I've been able to have an ogle at the new Interweave.

Right this moment I fancy doing the Ogee lace skirt but in Rowan Denim as opposed to the Bamboo Tape. Now, rather than making the skirt longer to take account of shrinkage, I'm thinking of skeining the yarn, washing and drying it and then using it .

Could be a sweet move.

On the other hand....


Friday, May 11, 2007


Look, some nutter left their socks in my garden. Oh, it was me....oops.

There's been other strange goings-on. Napkins. Quite a few. With mitred corners. Honestly, I reckon life is far too short for this kind of carry on, but I just can't help myself.
On a more serious note, I'm trying to stop contributing to landfill so I reckon napkins are a better (and more stylish?)option than paper towel. But being green isn't that simple. What about the whole cotton production process. Definitely not green. Re-using would be good. So I bought what looked like a cotton/linen mix in a charity shop, reckoning on about 6 napkins worth. Only one problem. Managed to lose the darn thing on the way home.
How? No idea
In the meantime, when I am not sewing napkins, I'm frying my brain with my pedagogy research assignment. Kind of handicapped by the fact that absence from work means I can't collect all of my data. More handicapped by the fact that my assignment mojo isn't worth a hill of beans.
Ho hum. Off for a discussion about validity and reliability. What a hip happening life I lead!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What does your kitchen say about you?



The Subjugated Wife

AKA The Surrendered Wife. I know that it takes all kinds, but please, if I start behaving in like a Stepford Wife, hit me on the head and administer emergency Yarn Therapy.

Did any folks in the UK see the documentary the other night? I think I'd seen something about this before. I think that what some of my views on the subject are summed up to a certain extent here..

Breaks my heart a tiny bit to think of all the women who have struggled for equality and autonomy, and those still living a life of subjugation, only for this kind of behaviour to be seen as laudable.

But that's democracy, so I shouldn't complain.... (tongue firmly in cheek)


Monday, May 07, 2007

testing, encore

Helloooo Bloglines...can you read me.....???

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Testing, testing, testing

Grrr. I'm having to subscribe to my own feed to check if Bloglines is working. It had a hissy fit the other day and junked all of my subscriptions.

As far as I know, I have NOT switched Javascript off, as was suggested. So, I'm having to add verything again, but I don't know if they are updating. Hence this test. Will it be updated in Bloglines, or not....
Can't you just feel the tension rising.....?


Update Chez India

Well, seems like a lot has been happening here of late, but when I stop to consider, there hasn't been much at all. I think that soaking up the sun (well, dappled shade, actually) must be really hard work.

I'm still off work, having various investigations - honest to goodness, I reckon I'm going to get Frequent Flyer miles with the NHS fairly soon...
On a strangely positive note, I had a mini cardiac episode yesterday. It was positive becasue I had the Cardio Call event monitor with me, similar to the one in the link. The 24 hour and 5 day machines have so far failed to catch anything, but the Cardio Call is all mine for 1 month. Although I didn't have any arrythmia, I did have the tachycardia, so at least they caught that!
In the meantime, I am trying to get as much gentle exercise as I can (note to self, digging out a compacted compost heap is not gentle exercise and it's no bloomin' wonder you felt so unwell after....). On that note, Number Guy made me a raised bed and I pretended to be Lady Rosemary. pottering about with various seeds and salad vegetables.

As you can see, this is not the biggest bed in the world - more of a narrow single than a queen- or king-size. I've snuggled up beetroot next to spinach at the head of the bed, while the foot end is seeing a Three Sisters set up. It might not work - probably won't !- but it's a bit of fun.

When I haven't been pottering in the garden, I've been doing a little more sewing (two types of sewing in one blog, eh?!). First up, a denim 'Thai fisher skirt' . Like the first one I made, I love it.

Particularly the metal buttons that I added to three of the four raw seams

Flushed with that success, I made a doorstop to keep the two great escapers where I want them. Like other folk who have made this , I found that the '5lb of dried beans' was a bit of an underestimate. I stopped after I had used all of the out-of-date pulses and rice that I could find lurking in the cupboards (which was a scary 81/2 lbs...) The pattern is from Simple Sewing, Lotta Jansdotter. For a newbie sewer like me, this is an excellent book - the fact that the full-size patterns are included, is a big plus.

Well, on that note, I'm off to think a bit about my assignments - I'm trying to make use of the time off to catch up on this work, as I wasn't up to it previously.
I may be some time....

Labels: , ,