Friday, 25 November 2011

66 - How Did That Happen?

The years are rattling around far quicker than they used to. It seems like just a few months since I said 65. I don't know how people who have retired can say they are bored. I simply don't have enough hours in a day. Even when I am having a down day the hours still whizz by. The only time I look at the clock is to say blimey is it that time already? I can honestly say that the minutes never crawl around for me. Considering that I have more hours awake in a day than a lot of people I should achieve far more than I do.

The parcel delivery postman was the first to call this morning and he brought me some wool (for a change) and a Kristin Omdahl crochet book from I pre ordered this book months ago so it's funny that it arrived on my Birthday. Sort of another present to myself. For years I have had a phobia about crocheting circles or joining circles together as I go along. This book comes with a DVD so I am hoping that when I watch it the veil will lift from my eyes.

The letter postman arrived later with a few cards and this magazine. I am not 100% certain whether this is a gift or whether it is part of my normal Crochet Today magazine subscription as it didn't have any clues inside it. I am sure that I will find out eventually. The DVD in the middle is a birthday present from my nieces as I never watched any episodes of Downton Abbey on TV. Series 2 is now showing on TV but I don't want to watch that until I have seen the first series. They also bought me a new electric kettle so now I can make coffee without flooding the work surface. The old kettle started leaking a few weeks ago.

My family have bought me a  super warm red long jacket which is like a duvet with sleeves. I went up the village on my scooter the other day and came back absolutely frozen and winter isn't here yet. I have also bid on eBay and won a second hand cozy for my legs. Just waiting for it to be delivered. When winter comes (as long as it doesn't snow) I will be able to carry on shopping on my scooter as usual instead of huddling indoors..

After the post came around lunchtime I thought of going for a shower to look half way decent but my friend Sylvia rang to say that I should be receiving a present any time soon. When the doorbell rang a bit later there was a florist standing there with these.

Lovely brightly coloured flowers. Sylvia knows that I love purple so they are shades of purple, lilac with some bright orange flowers in there. I will put them in water as soon as I have finished writing this blog.

I knitted a pair of fingerless mitts for my next door neighbour. He had commented about my crochet fingerless mitts when I put a photo on Facebook. I didn't think that he would suit blue mingled with flowers on so I knitted him a pair in dark green pure wool for warmth.

 I also crocheted this hat from a pattern I bought on Etsy but as it was a US pattern the UK wool, that I used, must have been thinner so instead of turning out a ladies size it has come out more of a large child size. That is the only problem that I have with using patterns from the US their wool is always a different thickness to the UK. Sometimes I can sort out the approximate thickness and other times, like last night, when I guess then  I am way off. I could do with one of my US friends making me up a thickness chart with sample strands of the thickness of some of the most popular yarns. Worsted is the worse one for me to sort out. There seems to even be different thicknesses of worsted in the US. As yarn is now made all over the world and is international instead of regional as in the old days pre Internet you would have thought they would have sorted out some system by now.

Would it not be a lot easier if the world adopted the same method of grading thickness of yarn. I don't suppose that would work though as every country would think that their method was the best one. There are enough arguments about which country came first with the names of  crochet stitches. I have no idea why the same stitches are called different names in different places. It all must have happenend a very long time ago. It's still all very confusing though.

I am now making cowls and neckwarmers. I have a grey one almost finished except for buttons and am half way through a blue one. Photos later. Time is ticking on to the next craft fair and so I must get a bit of a hussle on.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me Birthday wishes via e mail or Facebook. Your thoughts are appreciated.

I have just had a phone call saying that I am getting some company for a few days. Buster is coming so that will be good company for me.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I'm Still around

Sorry folks. Just not been in the mood for blogging of late. Just feeling generally out of sorts. You know the feeling. Nothing specifically wrong with me. I just call it my winter blues. It happens around this time of year. Usually it's not this bad but this year for some reason I have had a real case of lack of motivation.

I am still crocheting but just not taking many photos. A lot of the small stuff that I made got sold at the last craft fair so I am trying to motivate myself to make more.

I bought a 'new to me' chunky Brother 230 knitting machine with a ribber but apart from a few practise pieces I haven't actually made anything as yet. I am still in the learning curve.

Here are some of the things for Christmas presents and the next craft fair.

Headbands from patterns that I bought on Etsy. It's a great place to find patterns and as they get sent to your e mail they are usually much cheaper than any other place.

This is a cowl/hood. I made it from a US pattern and my wool wasn't as thick so it has come out a bit smaller (tighter) than it should have. Now I know what to do I will just add more stitches next time. I made the fingerless mitts from a rectangle of crochet in the same stitch. Sewed them up leaving holes for the thumbs and adding a small flower for decoration.

Some more jazzy fingerless mitts made in the same method but this time I crocheted around the thumb hole to make small thumb cozies. No pattern for these just a bit of improvisation.

I have had lots of patterns from Etsy and eBay and also my usual magazines including the Interweave Crochet accessories 2011 which has some good ideas for winter warmers.

Some photos from the last craft fair that I did at the Longfield Suite in November. The next one is on Dec 18th so although I still have heaps of things left from the last fair I need to make more of the small things that did sell such as headbands and fingerless mitts as well as some other bits and pieces perhaps with a more Christmassy theme.

Sadly no-one bought my bride dolls or my bridesmaid doll even though I was asking a ridiculously low price (in my eyes) for them as they took ages to make. Maybe they will sell at the Christmas fair. I should really update my Etsy store or try Folksy which is the UK version of Etsy. I just haven't had the motivation lately. I really should do it before Christmas if I want any sales.

I bought this pattern on Etsy. It is called the San Francisco bag should you wish to buy a pettern. I was really easy to make. The hardest part was doiing the linings as I am not much good at sewing. They will make nice small gifts for little girls this Christmas and have used up a lot of oddments.

I continue to keep buying more wool so will be in the poor house soon. My credit card bill is now bordering on the ridiculous. I need to sell more than I buy and I haven't got to that part yet. I know that I need to speculate to accumulate but so far all I am doing is parting with my money (or rather money that I don't have)

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my latest purchases. Plus I now have enough machine yarn on cones to open my own shop! My house is rapidly disappearing under a mountain of yarn. I will be being filmed for Hoarders as my family will be contacting the show if I don't tidy up soon. I just have no interest in housework whatsoever. I do the bare minimum of washing dishes and clothes and push the hoover about but I am just so untidy that I dread any visitors. It has now gone past the lived in look and gone to woolly untidiness. I never used to be like this. Maybe it's just part of my general depression issues. Maybe I just need a kick up the rear! I could do with a buddy to direct me along the path of tidiness and chat to me whilst I do it.

I went to a friend's wedding on Saturday and had a lovely time. It did me good to get out of the house for a while. Tonight I am going out for tea with my niece and my 'honorary niece' who has been around in the family so long that she is part of it in everything but blood. It's an early Birthday treat for me. It does feel so nice not to have to think about what to cook for myself.

My spine and knees continue to be a pain. I go to see a specialist on Dec 16th. Not for another replacement yet just to have an operation to see what is going on inside the left knee. I have now reached an all time weight high which isn't helping my mobility. I know that this will be the main topic of conversation when I get to the hospital. I weighed around 160 lbs before all of the problems with my spine and knees started but now because of immobility I am probably almost double that. I am a dieting failure. I eat when I am depressed and I am depressed about my lack of mobility so I eat. Join the circle as it goes around. 

Last, but not least, is my little furry neighbour Poppy who regularly comes through the hedge to amuse me. This day she got hold of a ball of wool and was chasing it all around the house. She has never shown any interest in my wool before. I couldn't do anything for laughing as she wound it in and out and around furniture legs. She is usually such a quiet serious dog as she is not as young as she once was but that day she was definitely having a puppy moment.

I will try to update my blog more regularly. If you have any spare motivation can you send me some please!