Friday, 19 December 2008

The Clock Tower Scarf... the saga continues!

The Sheerness Clock Tower is now with scarf!!! And it's still up there! haha! Been up for almost a week now and the thugs and morons of the Island haven't got to it! My bruv obviously managed to tie it quite tight despite being on his tippy toes on a ladder and having frozen hands! lol

The whole shebang has been featured in the Sheppey Gazette this week - we're Page 3 girls again! lol When I get round to scanning the article in, I'll post it on here - that reminds me - I must start a "Swampy Ewe-Knitted" scrapbook! Hopefully the Sheerness Times Guardian will be covering the whole scarf thing in their next issue (their photographers and reporters weren't hardy enough to turn up in the rain!).

Now I just have to get round to writing to all the knitting mags about it! That'll give the nation's knitters a good laugh!

Below: The scarf in all it's glory! Rolled out along Alma Street where I live! And finally mounted on the Clock Tower. Only took about 45 minutes to get up! lol

Woohoo!

I have finally finished Aston's tacky Xmas jumper! Yay me! I think it looks pretty good even though I couldn't get a big cheesy motif to go on it. The ones I have sewn on are quite unobtrusive! Maybe Aston won't end up hating me for it when he's older then.... Damn! *evil laughter*


Monday, 15 December 2008

All I want for Christmas is Matt Stevens!


Please Father Christmas/Santa/St Nick/Kris Kringle/Papa Noel or whatever name you wish to be known by, can I have Matt Stevens for Christmas this year?

Not only is he rather nice to look at and nice and beefy, but he's also a pretty good rugby player and looks like he would be ideal for cuddling up on the sofa with!

If you could get him wrapped up and under my Christmas tree on Christmas morning, I'd be incredibly grateful. I'm sure I could think of a way to explain the sudden appearance of a burly young man in my living room to my son - luckily at his age, he's pretty open minded and of course, Mummy can do no wrong!





Let's face it - I'm not exactly your typical rugby union fan and I'm not one for standing out in the cold, so I'm sure that I could be a more than adequate girlfriend to Mr Stevens. I can't be doing with the media spotlight and I'm quite willing to move to Bath! And the odd trip to South Africa to visit his family would be fine with me as well. Of course, I could do with a little help persuading him that an older, single mum is good life partner material! But if Gary Numan can marry one of his fans, then surely there must be hope!



I'm not after his money... I've learnt over the years that money really isn't that important. So, please put in a good word for me Santa and perhaps I might actually find something under my tree that I want this year! I don't normally ask for much for Christmas but there's only so many bizarrely mushy dreams I can have completely out of the blue about someone I've never met and am hardly likely to ever meet! But if you have any influence with Cupid as a fellow Legendary Figure, please can you ask him to help out a bit. Let's face it, I could do with some luck in affairs of the heart - haven't exactly had it all that good up til now, have I!

Well, Santa, that's what I'd like for Christmas this year. Thank you for reading my letter and I shall leave out the requisite glass of sherry (will Moniack Castle Mead do? I don't have any sherry) and mince pies on Christmas Eve for your delectation.

Of course, if you can't get me Matt Stevens, then I'm sure I could be consoled by a Terry's Chocolate Orange.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Would anybody like my life?

I feel like total crap today. This week's cold came on rather quickly yesterday and is raging as we speak. I can't breathe through my nose at all at the moment and it's really difficult to swallow when you can't breathe through your nose! Aston's got a cold too so it's not even as if I can just rest up. I seem to get a cold every couple of weeks at the moment. I get over one cold and then I get another one! Makes me laugh - the government are introducing these welfare reforms trying to get people back to work, including those who are long-term sick like myself - at this rate, I'd be off sick every couple of weeks.

Monday, 24 November 2008

The joys of parenthood!

You have to love being a parent when you've dozed off on the sofa and are woken by your child screaming. It's a labour of love for any parent and annoying as it is, we are always running to be there when our children need us.

Well, tonight I was woken up by Aston calling out to me so I sprung from the sofa and limped up the stairs as fast as I could (I'm currently suffering with heel and calf pain in my left leg) and called out "I'm coming!" and then "What's the matter?" to which the reply was "Nosebleed Mummy". And low and behold, he's standing at the door, holding on to the baby gate for dear life, with blood all over his face and down the front of his pyjamas. On further examination with the light on, there was a huge pool of blood on his pillow that had soaked through one of his bubbies (muslins to the rest of us!), the pillow case and into the pillow. He was in a terrible panic about it and desperate to get the blood off his hands and face and terribly worried that he'd made a mess of his pyjamas. So I've now spent about 45 minutes sorting him and his bed out and have donated a pillow from my bed to stick under his one remaining, sorrowful looking pillow and I have the washing machine going in a vain attempt to remove the blood stains from all the linen before it gets too deep into the fibres.

Now I'm off to bed. I'm bloomin' knackered! My own fault as I was up until about 4am yesterday finishing off my Xmas swap item for the Lets Knit forum Secret Santa. Quite chuffed with it though I can't put a piccie up yet in case it's seen by the intended recipient. So you'll all have to wait to see it.

Nighty night all!

Friday, 21 November 2008

My life sucks and I want a cigarette!

I haven't smoked for months and now I just want a fag more than anything. This bad day has just got worse and now it's hit rock bottom. Why aren't corner shops open after 10pm? I can't go all the way to Tescos for a pack of ciggies. It's so bloody frustrating!

I should have known really when the day didn't start off well. I woke up having dreamt that my ex, Sefton, hadn't just dumped me and wanted a divorce, he'd got back together with his ex-wife and found out he had a child with her who he loved more than our son Aston because this other boy was blond haired and blue eyed like he wanted Aston to be and Aston has brown eyes. Consequently, I woke up feeling totally miserable and got Aston out of bed only to have him come over and stroke my arm and say "It's alright Mummy" cuz I was sitting with tears rolling down my face.

I've felt pretty spaced out all day (I did yesterday too) and I have no idea what's causing it. I suppose I should have known better than to text Sefton and tell him that I still love him and I miss him and could we talk about things. I should have left well alone, for my own sanity. But in my usual inimitable style, I made a total balls up of my life so why would I start to do things differently now. I sent him another text this evening saying that as I hadn't had a reply, I assumed that he was either ignoring me, confused or feels nothing. And then I do get a reply saying 'I feel nothing it's over i have moved on with my life' and 'sorry not interested stop sending me texts like that' and that just broke me.

I just wish he'd tell me the real reason our marriage broke down so I know if it's a problem I need to assess or not. I wanna know if he blames me or not. Maybe then, I'll be able to move on.

If I didn't have a beautiful, loving son to take care of, I'd have emptied my medicine cabinet down my throat by now.

(Don't worry, I'll be fine in the morning! Honest!)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Scarf for the Sheerness Clock Tower and Library Exhibition



The knitting group has maintained it's local celebrity status of late as you can see! Not only have we got an exhibition on at the Library in Sheerness, but there has been a lot of interest in making the squares for use in the scarf for the clock tower. We've even got council support for it! Hopefully there'll be some more coverage in the local paper when we actually get to put the scarf up on 13th December!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

An overdue update from the land of Swampy!

Where have I been you may wonder... well, I've been here all the time, just haven't got round to posting in ages!

Here are a few of my 'makes' since my last posting...



Halloween spider decoration (crocheted)

Teddy Bear (from Linnypin Designs 'Austin' pattern) for Name the Bear comp


Raymond Briggs's Snowman (pattern by Alan Dart) for Aston's Xmas present


Squares for the Clock Tower scarf (good job I'm not the only one doing them as I've only managed to make 2!)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

The sun is out, the sky is blue, there's not a cloud to spoil the view, but.... I'm knackered! Not quite what Buddy Holly wrote, but there you go! Life never is quite how you want it!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Soooooo tired!

Battling to keep my eyes open at the moment so I'll update everything later. So busy knitting and crocheting at the moment! But need sleep! Will try and persuade Aston to have a nap too!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Baby Blanket pattern

I haven't got my own version of this finished but figured it was about time to put the pattern up since I have written it all out. At least then if someone can knit faster than me and decides to make it up, they can let me know if there are any errors!

Yarn: Patons Fairytale Cuddles DK (although any soft DK baby yarn will do)
Needle size: 4mm
Abbreviations: st st – stocking stitch, mst – moss stitch, K – knit, P – purl, Sts - stitches

Pattern:

Cast on 257 stitches on 4mm needles.

Rows 1-12
*Knit 12 rows in moss stitch (mst) – K1, P1 repeated to end of row.* Always begin each row with a knit stitch.

Rows 13-24
Row 13: **work first 9sts in mst, K to last 9 sts. Work remaining 9 sts in mst – ensuring that you continue with the opposite stitch to the one worked on the previous row, for example, if you worked a knit stitch on the previous row, you need to work a purl stitch on this row.

Row 14: work first 9sts in mst, P to last 9 sts, work remaining 9 sts in mst**
Rows 15 – 24: work as from **

Rows 25 – 36: repeat as *

Rows 37-67
Row 37: ***[Mst for 9 sts, K22] repeat to end.
Row 38: [Mst for 9 sts, P22] repeat to end.***
Row 39 onwards: Repeat *** 14 more times

Rows 68-79
Repeat as *

Rows 80-91
Repeat as **

Rows 25 to 91 form the pattern

Repeat pattern 5 times (from beginning of blanket to this point is 438 rows)

Repeat *

Cast off.


If you find any errors in this pattern, please email me.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ouch!

In a fair amount of pain this evening. Got hand pain which I have persevered through to get one of the sleeves on my Noro jumper done (hoo-bloody-ray!). I've also knit another hat with the pink Rowan Spray wool that arrived today from Sash from the LK forum (thanks Sash!). It's come out ok but I think I need to make one using bigger needles next time simply to make it fit bigger heads! lol

Aston went to bed at 7/7.30pm without eating any tea again. He's just been eating crap lately. I make him a decent dinner and he won't eat it cuz he's too tired. Little so and so! Will mean he's probably going to wake me up at 6am again so I'm going to go and get some pain killers and then hopefully a good night's sleep.

My equipment from the Occupational Therapy team should be arriving tomorrow so who knows, I may actually manage to have a bath on my own tomorrow evening!

Forgot to get Mum to help me take a good look at the lump that's come up on the back of Aston's head, just inside the hairline. I have a sneaking suspicion he may have got a splinter when he slipped off the picnic table at Wildwood but I can't get him to keep still enough to have a proper look!

Anyway, my hands are beginning to feel a little on the weird tingly side now so I'm off to bed! Bet the dog will think "thank heaven for that!" cuz she's been pretty much out of it on the sofa next to me for hours!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Two hats in a day!

Yesterday I managed to knit two, count them, TWO hats from start to finish! I think this is not only amazing because I've never started and finished something in the same day before, but also because I still managed to make two items despite running about making teas for the knitting group, being up and down sorting Aston out all the time and making dinner etc! I wouldn't claim to be superwoman but I came pretty close yesterday! lol!



I will probably give the hats away as Christmas presents. I want to get some other Colinette yarns and make some more. Maybe one or two for myself and then some more as Xmas presents and I'll try and sell some too in the hope of making the money back I've paid out for the wool. I used Colinette Shimmer 5 in Fresco for the two I've made already. I want to get some other yarns from Colinette to make some more. Trouble is, I look at the yarns and I'm so desperate to buy LOADS! Will keep my fingers crossed that they have a stall at the Knitting & Stitching Show in October and they're selling some bits off cheap! ;-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Bleeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!

Feel like crap! I've had a headache for 2 days now so I cried off going to Singers tonight. Mum took Aston home for tea with them so I could get some sleep. I went to bed about 5.40pm and got up to have something to eat at 8.30pm. Half way through eating my dinner, I got the shakes! Soooooooo hate being me sometimes. :-(

Going to cheer myself up by knitting a beret with my Colinette Shimmer. If I can keep my hands working for that long! Stacy from the LK forum said her beret only took her an hour!

Finally - some help!

Shirley from the Occupational Therapy service came round at 9am this morning and finally I'm going to get some equipment to help me around the house!

The landlord has to approve the addition of hand rails in the bathroom (to help me keep steady in the shower and getting in and out of the bath) and on the frame of the kitchen door (to help me get up and down the step) but she's already ordered the other bits which will be here next Tuesday so I may well be able to have a bath on my own next week! Woohoo! That'll save my mum having to come out and sit here in case I can't get up!

My other pair of support gloves came through the post today as well so I don't have to look so much like a weirdo with black ones on! The new ones are skin tone so should be better for being out and about - also will be better for when we have the Singers concert on 4th October. That way, I'll have some support for holding my folder all the time but I won't look odd!

Bought some patterns for Mum yesterday on Ebay from a chap in Sheerness. Apparently he has a lot of customers in Sheerness and Sittingbourne so I didn't have to pay delivery as he posted them through the door! What a star! Mum's going to give me the money for them. He does cheap wool as well so if Mum wants some to make the shawls, we'll get it from him. Think he does 5 balls for about £6 which is great.

Got Sheppey Singers tonight but I don't know if I'll go or not - depends on this headache. I'm just worried that if I don't go, I'll miss out on going through some songs I don't know. Knitting group tomorrow though so that's good. Time for a good old natter! Should be good.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Same old same old!

Well, it's another gloomy day in Sheerness! Aston woke me up at 7.22am this morning (yes, it was that early, I remember the time exactly!) and then I couldn't get back to sleep cuz of all the noisy kids on their way to school! Grouchy old cow aren't I! teehee!

Saw doc last night. Got some ointment for Aston's tick bite that's got infected even though I got the bloomin thing off, legs and all! Also decided that I would stop taking the ibuprofen and sleeping tablets because the ibuprofen didn't seem to be helping much and the sleeping tablets made me drowsy all day! Luckily he didn't put me on steroids but if things get any worse, he will do that if we have no other option.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Must Try Harder

I'm sat here and I keep thinking of all the things I want to make and it's distracting me from the things I've already got on the needles!

Last night I started off on the legs of the Raymond Briggs Snowman toy I'm making Aston for Xmas. But I've still got the sleeves of my Noro jumper to make (which I could do with since I'm bloody freezing!), the edges of the jacket/cardigan I'm making for baby Sidney Rennie and I'm nowhere near getting his blanket finished! I really ought to get these things finished before I get on with anything else. At least then I'd have a couple of things to add to my list of Finished Objects and have some kind of sense of achievement, even if I am still struggling with the European Knitting Mountain!

Already planning on making amigurumi versions of Cinamoroll, Keroppi and U*sa*ha*na. Will probably be pretty easy to make actually but since I'll be designing as I go, I need some time to do those and I must be strong and not do them til at least 2 of my other things are finished! Got no room in the knitting bag for a start!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Still tired...

Aston went off to his Dad's at 10am this morning and I went back to bed at 12pm and didn't get up til 6.30pm and I'm [b]STILL[/b] tired! GAH!

Really missing Aston today. Had a very wobbly moment last night when, for some reason, I got this bug in my brain about dying and not having him anymore and not being able to look after him and generally the whole 'me not existing anymore and what's going to happen?' thing which [b][i]truly[/i][/b] freaks me out! I got so freaked that I had to get out of bed and go in to his room. Just wanted to be with him. If it wasn't for the fact that he was fast asleep spread out in the middle of his bed, I would have got in his little bed with him and cuddled up to him. Instead, I just gave him a kiss and tucked him in again and then went back to bed and had a bit of a blub! I'm such a saddo. Nothing freaks me out more than the thought of not being me anymore, if you know what I mean. The thought of no longer existing truly horrifies me!

Anyway, before I go completely ballistic again and end up in a soggy heap on the floor, I shall change the subject!

I've now sold both my pairs of dread falls on Ebay. I'm gutted at having to sell them but my hair's far too short now and I never wear them. I'd rather they went to a good home where they'll be worn and appreciated. I've still got my braid-in dreads so if I feel the need, when my hair gets longer, I can always put those back in.

My amigurumi obsession is taking over! Dunno if I'll get all my knitting projects finished now. Terrible isn't it! I must put the crochet hook down and pick up the pins. It's just that making a little squidgy character is soooo quick! And a friend shared a LOAD of crochet/amigurumi patterns with me yesterday. We're talking almost 200 of the things! She even gave me a load of Jean Greenhowe stuff and 2 crochet books - it's all electronic so I don't have to find the space on the book shelves! Good eh!

I've also managed to update the Swampy Ewe-Knitted website today as well. Only taken me about 4 months! lol I still need to update the WIP and FO pages but other than that, it's looking better!

Well, I'm going to get back to my 'triopus'. I say that cuz he's an octopus that's only got three legs right now! lol! Here's a piccie of him when he was an 'unopus'!

Better make the other 5 of his legs now!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Chococat!

I've finished my Chococat and therefore my first pattern! Must give thanks to Crafts by AP for the inspiration!

So here's the pattern! Hope it makes sense!



This is an easy pattern suitable for beginners. It is written using the English crochet terms.

dc = double crochet (US conversion – dc = sc ‹single crochet›)
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain stitch
tog = together

You will need:
Crochet hook – size 3.5mm (US size E, UK size 9)
Brown 4ply wool (I used Patons Diploma Gold 4-ply, shade 4218)
A small amount of white DK yarn, flesh tone DK yarn (or small triangles of flesh coloured felt) and light blue/turquoise yarn.
Pink and black embroidery threads
PVA glue.
Sewing needle.
2 x 9mm safety eyes
Stitch marker


HeadCh2
Rnd 1: 5 dc in second chain from hook = 5 dc
Insert stitch marker in
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each dc = 10 dc
Rnd 3: *dc in first dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 4: *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 5: *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 6: *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 7: *dc in next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 35 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 8: *dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 40 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnds 9-13: dc in every dc around, moving stitch marker up at the end of each row.
Rnd 14: *dc in next 6 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 35 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 15: *dc in next 5 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 16: *dc in next 4 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 17: *dc in next 3 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 18: *dc in next 2 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 15 dc.
Fasten off with slip stitch in last dc. Leave long tail for sewing.

Do not stuff etc until you have made and attached the eyes as follows:

Eyes (make 2)
Using white DK yarn,
2 ch
Rnd 1: 10 dc in second ch from hook. Do not pull the end tight!
Fasten off with sl st and weave end in.
Place safety eye in centre hole of crocheted ring and tighten around.

Place eyes approximately 2cm apart (taking measurement from edge of the crocheted outer part) and two thirds of the way down the head.
Stuff head firmly, weave tail through last row of dc and pull tight to close. Fasten off. You should still have a long enough tail to use for sewing.

Nose
Using pink embroidery thread, make a small nose between the 2 eyes and just slightly below them. To fasten off, pull thread through back of head, pull tight and cut so that the end of the thread goes back inside the head when cut.

Whiskers
Using black embroidery thread, draw one length through the head diagonally from top of eye to bottom of other eye, from about 2dc around from the outer edge of each eye. Cut the thread so that the ‘whiskers’ are the same length on both sides. Repeat, working from other side of the head. You end up with 4 whiskers in total.

To seal the whisker ends and make them stick out more prominently, place a small amount of PVA glue on your index/forefinger and touch to your thumb. Apply glue gently along the length of the whiskers, using thumb and index/forefinger, shaping the thread to keep the whiskers straight and even as possible. Leave to dry.

Body
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 5 dc in second chain from hook. Mark last dc with stitch marker.
Rnd 2: 2 dc in every dc = 10 dc. Move stitch marker up
Rnd 3: *dc in first dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 4: *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 5: *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 6: *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rounds 7-11 (5 rounds in total): dc in every dc around, moving stitch marker up at end of each round.
Rnd 12: *dc in next 4 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 13: *dc in next 3 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 14: *dc in next 2 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Make sl st to fasten off. Leave long tail for sewing. Stuff firmly. Weave tail in around last row of dc and pull tight. Fasten off.

Ears (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 10 dc into second ch from hook. = 10 dc. Mark last dc with stitch marker.
Rnd 2: 2 dc in every dc around = 20dc Move stitch marker up.
Rnd 3: *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc.
Join with sl st and fasten off.

Fold ears in half and sew together along curved edge. Attach bottom half of curved edge to the side of the head. Make the flesh tone inner parts of the ears by either embroidering with flesh tone yarn or attaching felt patches with PVA glue.

Legs (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second ch from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch marker
Rnd 2: 2 dc into each dc = 16dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc made.
Rnds 3-7: dc into every dc, moving up stitch marker each time.
Fasten off with sl st. Weave end through last row and keep long tail. Stuff firmly and pull end tight but only enough to keep stuffing held in. Sew to body.

Arms (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second chain from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch holder.
Rnds 2-10: dc into every dc, moving stitch marker up each round.
Fasten off. Weave end into last row and pull tight. Attach to body, slightly down from neck.

Tail
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second chain from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch holder.
Rnds 2-17 (15 rounds in total): dc into every dc.
Fasten off with a sl st and weave end through each dc in last row. Pull tight and tie off.
Sew to back of body, centrally just above the top of the legs. Sew slightly along the tail to hold it so that it sticks out at one side of the body.

If you would prefer, I have a PDF version of the pattern which you can download
here

If you have any problems with this pattern, please let me know so that I can adjust it!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The uselessness of Estate Agents

I have always felt that Estate Agents were useless when it comes to listening to their tenants following the shambles that was Winkworths in Chiswick High Road so why am I surprised by the incompetence of the current estate agent acting on behalf of my landlord?

Some months ago I told them about the disgusting stench in one of the kitchen cupboards. They said it was probably a dead mouse or something and that the smell would go away and, although they made a note on their computer, they didn't see fit to inform my landlord who is usually very good at dealing with maintenance problems. The second visit I paid them on this subject wasn't even recorded! They eventually informed the Landlord on 11th August and he came round a couple of days later to look at the cupboard (well, sniff it as it turned out) and send his builder round for a closer inspection.

Later that week, Bob the builder (no word of a lie folks!) turns up and has a look in the cupboard (that I'd had to ask my mum to come and help me empty!). He took off the kickboard at the bottom and managed to get the backboard out (it's an old, cheap fitted kitchen). Other than several years worth of grime under the cupboard, there didn't appear to be any damp and the wall felt dry to the touch. Therefore, no explanation for the smell was determined and it was left at that with me making a mental note to clean under the cupboards when my energy levels permitted and promising that I would inform the estate agents should the smell get worse. That weekend I cleaned under the cupboards and around/under the cooker. I left the kickboards off all the cupboards hoping that the air circulation would help in getting rid of the smell. Bob then came back a couple of days later to take a look at the other maintenance issues and sort those out.

Yesterday, because the smell had been getting worse, I ended up laying on the floor in the kitchen and looking under the cupboard to see if there was any change. I noticed white marks which I assumed meant that something had seeped through the wall and dried. I sent pictures to the estate agent on an email. I had no reply from them and, having emptied the cupboard again and taken the backboard off myself, I found further evidence of damp, photographed it and emailed the agents again, asking that they take action within 24 hours or I would call Environmental Health. Needless to say, I had to phone them this morning about it and they hadn't read the emails then. I eventually got a read receipt at 4.25pm! Good job I'd already contacted the council at that point!!! It's now 9.30pm and I've had no phone call or email despite them promising me this morning that they would ring me back IN THE SAME DAY!!!

I really should have expected this. I'm sure that if they'd spoken to the landlord, he'd have been on the phone to me as soon as he heard. He doesn't tend to hang around on these things, so I know that they've done bugger all about it. Even though I have made it perfectly clear that there are health complications and that my son and me are already suffering some effects that may be linked to the damp problem, they STILL don't act! And yet, legally, I'm not allowed to withhold rent! PAH!

They'll have fun trying to get hold of me tomorrow cuz I have to get to Canterbury at some point to try and get new glasses since my son broke the only pair I have this evening. They're currently held together with a bit of sellotape and the lense is sort of propped up in the resultant loose socket! If it wasn't for gravity, I don't suppose it would stay there!

All in all, not my day! Let's hope tomorrow is a bit better!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Oooh it restores ya faith in humanity, dun't it!

I am happy and all is right with the world.... Only Men Aloud won the BBC's "Last Choir Standing" as they should! I would have withdrawn from the human race had it been otherwise! I only started watching the show 2 weeks ago and they wowed me from the off! I only wish there were some young lads who could sing like that round here and that they'd come and join us at Sheppey Singers!!! There's only about 5 men altogether and they're all old (no disrespect to them - someone's gotta do it!). But us girls need a good reason to show up for rehearsals every week and having a few pert bottoms stood at the front row of the theatre on a Wednesday night would certainly improve things!

My fave OMA performance still has to be when they did 'Goldfinger'. It was fantastically entertaining! Feel sorry for Ysgol Glanaethwy cuz they were bloody good too (their rousing version of 'O Fortuna' was AMAZING! But the best men did win!

What a let down rehearsals for Sheppey Singers will be after that - if we're not out of tune, we're out of time! We only have 3 part harmonies on most songs so it's a good job we don't try and attempt any of the stuff the choirs did on the show. Some had 7 part harmonies. We've got no chance!!!!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I bet Darwin's turning in his grave!!!

I've got BBC1 on - there's a programme about the problems with Pedigree dogs. I don't want to watch it but then I do want to watch it because although I know I'm going to get upset by the horrible congenital diseases bred into most of the recognised breeds, I want to know if there's anything they have about Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Boxers (just had one with epilepsy - very distressing) because although both Charley (boxer) and Kiwi (staff) have been health checked as pups, there's nothing to say they won't develop problems as they get older.

We were told that Charley might have problems with her teeth because her jaw is small but although they're not straight at the bottom, she doesn't seem to have any problems. Kiwi is small according to the 'breed standard' and definitely not big enough in terms of the original breed which would have been taller than what we recognise a Staff to be now. I hope that neither of my dogs (although Charley's with Sefton) ever get any problems!

Owning a boxer opened my eyes to a few things - white boxers are often still put down as pups because they don't meet the breed standard (which says they can only have less than 3/4 of the fur white) and not because they may be deaf.

Even though my family have only ever had 2 mongrels/cross breeds, we have still gone for pedigrees because you 'know what you're getting'. And yet the best dog we ever had was a real Heinz 57 and she was wonderful.

Disgusting isn't it that we're so anti human cloning, quite rightly so, and yet we allow this to go on under our noses! Whatever happened to the concept of natural selection and survival of the fittest? It didn't mean that we had to eliminate the weaker specimens of the species because nature did this on its own. Who are we to meddle???

O Postman, where art thou?

I hate the postal service in this country - it's so SLOW!!! I'm waiting for some stuff I've bought from Ebay and it all seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. The postman doesn't even seem to call at my house any more. Not even to deliver bills! It's depressing

I need some cheering up. I'm so tired and feeble at the moment that even the slightest effort seems to leave me exhausted. Aston's got a nasty cold which means he wants looking after a lot more than usual and actually wants cuddles for a change! Got the "Biro Buddies" letters from the ME/CFS Parents forum through the post the other day (one of the few days the Postman actually has had anything for me!) and I haven't even had the energy to read it yet!

Ah - the postman has just been. Still no parcels. Got 2 of the patterns I ordered but that's it. I'm going to get really annoyed soon and I hate having to complain to people on Ebay. Already had to start a dispute thingy against a seller in the USA because I haven't had the items. They could be stuck in customs but if she won't answer my emails and give me the tracking number, I can't find out!!! Grrrr!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Repentant blogger update!

I've done it again! Not posted anything for ages! DOH! And I've finished a couple of amigurumi projects too which I need to show off!



That's Hello Kitty who now has pride of place on top of my computer. I'm quite impressed that she actually looks like she should according to the pattern I used (downloaded it from Ravelry - it's by Crafts-by-AP). I've also finished the present for Eve, my niece, which is supposed to look like something out of Dr Who. Personally I just think it's a cute little blobby creature and I want to make one for myself in a lairy multicoloured wool! So here's a picture of him as well...



I'm now knitting some socks for Aston as my "Ravelympics 2008" project. I've nearly finished the first sock so I've got til 24th August to make the 2nd one! Should be easy considering he's only got small feet!

Still working on the baby blanket... it's taking bloody ages and I'm bored with it at the moment so I've started knitting things for Xmas presents as a bit of variety. So I've got a Jean Greenhowe Topsy-Turvy doll on the go (hoping to make 3 in total) and I've just got some wool to do a Preston dog for my Dad (from Wallace & Gromit "A Close Shave") Needless to say, the old ADKD has kicked in again! haha

Haven't been up to much in the way of blogging recently, to be honest. I keep thinking I must add something but this past week or so, I seem to have been suffering from increasingly bad bouts of carpal tunnel syndrome which has made it painful to type/knit/crochet/lift things and so on. But now I've got some new medication from the doctor so I'm hoping that will make a difference and I can put more stuff up on here!

Who knows - I may even get round to putting something on here that isn't about knitting!!!!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Miss Saigon, Olympic Fever and Wolves!

Well, I'm sat here listening to the soundtrack to Miss Saigon complete and unabridged on CD (I have it on cassette somewhere!) refamiliarising myself with the songs that I have loved ever since I saw the show in Drury Lane 17 years ago. It's good to hear it all again - I can't remember the last time I listened to these songs - and they still rip at the heart strings. Fantastic stuff!

In the meantime, while I'm thinking about going to bed, on the other side of the world, a ton of athletes are preparing to compete in the most gruelling competition of their lives. Me - I'm not that fussed to be honest! I won't bother watching the opening ceremony and as for the events, the only ones I ever really bother to watch are the track events and then I only really watch the sprint races. Oh well, another few weeks of boring telly! Maybe I'll reacquaint myself with the first 5 seasons of Buffy! lol

Went to Wildwood near Herne Bay today with my mum, brother, niece and my son. I've never been there before and it was really great. There are enclosures set into the woods and even though it was full of parents with kids, you could be round by one enclosure and it was so peaceful. We saw deer, stoats, weasels, beavers, otters, badgers, polecats, pine martins and red squirrels but by far my best bit was seeing the wolves. I absolutely love wolves. They are such beautiful animals. It was fabulous to see them that close up and particularly the 2 hand-reared females. It was amazing to see the difference in the reactions between them and the other 4 wolves living seperately as a pack and who still have a wariness of humans. It was like watching 2 dogs greeting their master! Wagging tails, ears down and big grins on their faces (yes, dogs and wolves can grin!) There were still some wolf behaviours being displayed but it was fascinating to see the difference between wolves that don't trust humans and those who are only alive because of them. Fascinating!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

August already???

I am soooooooo tired today! I just can't seem to stay awake. I've been asleep on the sofa most of the day! Did a bit of crochet this morning (finished and stuffed the body for my Hello Kitty toy and made 1 and a half arms! lol) and about lunch time I was out of it!

I'm supposed to be going to ritual in Charing tomorrow but I'm so tired, I dunno if I'll make it. Haven't had a break lately because of Sefton's car accident and therefore him being unable to have Aston for the weekend like he would normally have done. I do understand that he's in pain and so on (he's cracked his collarbone and has whiplash and LOTS of bruising and is having nightmares) but I could really do with some time just to sleep and rest instead of having to run round after Aston all the time. Plus he's going to be missing his Dad before too long - or maybe not. He doesn't really ask for Sefton at all which is a shame.

I've got into crosswords again lately. Got myself a book of Arrow-words yesterday from the paper shop. Done a few already! Will work my way through the book at some point! Probably won't take me too long!

Got my Colinette Shimmer in the post today that I bought via Ebay. It's lovely - but then it's Colinette so it would be! haha! I love that company's yarns! Going to be a while til the rest of the stuff I've ordered comes through though thanks to the wonders of e-cheques. Still waiting on my interchangeable needles and sizzix die cuts from the States, 2 dinosaur patterns so I can make toys and matching jumpers for Aston and I have to pay for the Miss Saigon soundtrack on CD as well but I'm waiting for the person who's won my Dad's suit to pay up first!!!

Better do something productive now. Aston's in the bath and hopefully he'll go to bed after and then I can get on with some more crochet!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Bah bah dee ah bah dood'n dwee-ah, Feelin' Grooveeeeeeeeeee!

Bet you're wondering what the hell that's all about! haha! That's apparently what we're supposed to sing in the chorus of 'Feeling Groovy' by Simon and Garfunkel... God know's who arranged it!

Was my first time at Sheppey Singers and it was a good laugh. I haven't sung in that kind of way since I was in the choir at Grammar School aged 14! Me and my best friend only joined cuz they were singing a couple of cool songs, well, cool at the time! Every Loser Wins and How Deep Is Your Love were the songs, I think. Oh and we did Send In The Clowns.

Now, for someone who can't read music, I have to learn the alto part to 'Feeling Groovy', 'On My Own' from Les Miserables and 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' by Hoagy Carmichael. And considering I only know one of those songs, it's going to be fun! lol

Apparently I have to audition as well before I'm in proper! So I've been raiding YouTube for songs from Miss Saigon. It has to be my all time favourite musical! Just have to try and get the sheet music now as well.... Found one on ebay so we'll see if I win it or not. Fingers crossed cuz there is a song that is absolutely bang on for me! I'm going to have to see if I can find my copy of the soundtrack. Might be in the shed... Joy!

Well, I'm off to do some crochet (yes, I've taught myself to do the basics!) and scoff potato wedges way too late in the day! lol

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Getting the hang of it!

Well, after many, MANY attempts, I am finally getting the hang of this crochet lark! Well, a few of the basic stitches anyway. I've still got to get the tension thing down pat but when I've figured out that, maybe I'll actually be able to make something! lol


So far I've managed a couple of stitches - double crochet, half treble crochet and treble crochet. Trying to make a round now! I shall make a placemat or a glass cover with it - and then I can stop the nasty bugs getting into my glass of coke when I sit outside! How smart is that!? (not very, I know!)


Can't get too tied up in the crochet though - I'm trying to knit a blanket for my friend Angie's baby Sidney and I'm doing it to my own design. At the rate I'm knitting it, he'll be taking it to school with him! eek! I've also got a cardigan for him that I need to sew up and finish.


And finally - how could I have forgotten to introduce my beautiful new pooch to all you people out there in blogland? Flamin' useless, that's me! I blame it on the permanent brain fog that comes with chronic fatigue (and the fact that I was up half the night trying to report some barking dogs who'd been left unattended by their owners for the 3rd day on the trot to the RSPCA!).

So here is my ickle Kiwi! She's a 9 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier and she's the softest, dumbest dog ever! She doesn't bark and she LOVES cuddles! She's not too keen on long walks (she flops down flat on the ground when she's had enough!) and she is an absolute angel with Aston! Just wish she'd stop sitting in my raised flower beds, cheeky moo! hehe

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Local celebs! lol

Silly me - forgot to post the article that was in our local rag about the knit in public event! I'm the one in the middle!

What am I letting myself in for?

I've started knitting a baby blanket that I'm designing myself, pretty much as I go along! I worked out the stitches and rows for the pattern according to the yarn's tension square measurements and it seems to be working well but I've changed my mind from my original idea! lol

Not done a great deal as yet since I've got 265 stitches on the needle, but I'll get there eventually! When I've finished, if I'm happy with it, I'll put the pattern up on here and some photos of the finished article.

Was very pleasantly surprised to find a 10 pack of the yarn I'm using on Ebay - not only that, it's the same shade number and even the same lot number! What are the chances of that, eh?

Saturday, 14 June 2008

World Wide Knit in Public Day 2008

People all over the world today have been knitting in public places... including the Swampy Ewe-Knitted girls! Hoorah!


We gathered around the clock tower in Sheerness today at 12pm with a little display and did our knitting. A few people came up and spoke to us but sadly no-one came along and joined us. We also thought that the local yarn shop missed an opportunity to promote itself because they could have displayed some of their wares. Oh well!


The local press came and took some photos of us so we'll see if we actually appear in next week's paper. I took some piccies myself as you can see and I'm hoping to send something to the knitting mags. Anything that points out we have a knitting club will help! Through speaking to a few people though it did mean that I'm now looking at organising a monthly Saturday evening meeting so that those who can't make our fortnightly lunch meetings can come along. So that'll be fun to sort out. See what happens when you talk to people!


The best thing was watching my mum teaching a 3 1/2 year old girl how to knit! She came over with her mum who told us how she'd tried to teach her because she had been asking to learn. She managed a row before the novelty wore off but it was so sweet to watch! And Mum was so patient with her! At least it proves that there are young'uns interested in these things if only people take the time to teach them! Good job we brought the spare needles and yarn!

If we do end up plastered across the local rag, I'll scan it and post it up on here - got to enjoy my 5 minutes of fame! lol

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Back from blog obscurity!

I really am crap at this blogging lark! Haven't put anything on here for ages! Can't even remember what I was last ranting about! haha!

Well, today has been one of those shockers you have now and again... actually yesterday evening was the biggest shocker of an evening in the history of the world ever and today just kind of followed on!

Why is it that when you write something in an email, it always gets read the wrong way? As much as I love the internet and telephones etc, there's nothing quite like face to face conversation for getting the message across. Especially when the person you're trying to convey something to is a thick arsed bloke who just reads bits of what you have to say and basically ignores the effin point! GAH!

Anyway, after relying on technology initially, spending most of yesterday evening and this morning in tears of frustration, I finally managed to talk to the bloke in question for 5 minutes on the telephone and I *think* things are now sorted! God, it would just be sooooo much easier if he didn't live over the other side of the sodding estuary!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Bring on the Invisible Wet Fish!

What is it about me that means the Powers That Be feel the need to slap me round the face every so often to check I'm paying attention? God(s) forbid I should go through a day or a week without realizing I'm rapidly turning into a down and out! Just a quick slap with an invisible wet fish every so often and I'm back in the land of reality where I'm skint, fat, miserable, scruffy and living in a craphole with no shelving whatsoever with only a 2 year old to keep me company! I crave adult company and conversation and sometimes it'd just be nice to have a cuddle that warms a bit more than just my knees!


Today is one of those "invisible wet fish" days. My lovely little black bunny rabbit, Malcolm, appears to have a recurrance of the abcess that's above (or possibly behind) his right eye. Not satisfied with fating him to be abandoned when he caught myxamatosis and having to go through what must have been the most appaling pain as he slowly recovered, those same Powers That Be, in their infinite wisdom, have seen fit to give the poor sod a recurring abcess that's obviously affecting his already badly scarred face and making him feel wretched. I've phoned the vet and the PDSA about it, hoping that either the vet would be nice enough to treat him again free of charge because they obviously didn't do the job they were supposed to when he had it operated on last month or that the PDSA would offer me something positive. As it is, I have to take him to see the PDSA tomorrow morning (nice drive all the way to Gillingham - means I have to prevail upon Mother again for transport and go complete with 2 year old son in tow) so that they can assess him and decide if there's any point in them treating him. The woman on the phone said there may be nothing more they can do for him and it might be best to put him to sleep. I don't want to do that if I can help it. I gave Malcolm a home because he deserved to have a better quality of life and someone to love and care for him - something his previous owners obviously didn't do. I still want him to have that life if he can.
So that was my first slap. The second slap? My dear soon-to-be ex-husband phones to tell me he's paid a measly £60 into my account - £10 of which is to buy myself a birthday present from our son Aston. Whoopdidoo! Gonna buy a lot, that! I'm bringing up our child on my own and all I'm worth is a tenner. Thanks. I get the hint.
Third slap? My friend Maria finds a link to the sale details for the lovely house I was pushed out of by said soon-to-be ex. Just looking at the pictures depressed me. That was supposed to be where we would live for some years and bring up our children. Now it's sitting empty because he never bothered to keep up the mortgage payments because making sure his car looked its best and was always chugging the best petrol was more important than ensuring there was a roof over his family's heads. I sold my little house in Sheerness to help buy that place. If I hadn't, we'd have got nowhere. And what have I got to show for it? Nothing. And I doubt if I'll even get anything out of the sale once the debts have been paid off. The ex won't acknowledge the amount I put in to buying it so there's a big fat zero of a chance of me getting back an equivalent of what I put in.
They must have pulled out the biggest, wettest fish they could find today *shakes fist ineffectually at the sky*

How many times am I going to have to unpick this one?

Already had to unpick 2 rounds! Grrr!
Heel turn seems to have gone ok now that I've finally figured out the instructions in the pattern but I had to unpick because I hadn't done the instructions for the selvedge at the same time as knitting the heel flap and had to fiddle about picking up stitches along the edge myself and doing that every alternate row would have meant only decreasing one stitch for the gusset which I knew couldn't be right. Going to have to do exactly the same thing on the other sock just so they look right so doing the heel turn correctly could end up being purely academical! Pffffft!

Well, better get on with it. For now I'm going to bed cuz I still have a stinking headache that came on this afternoon. Actually, I want to go to bed but I'm kind of halfway through watching The Chronicles of Riddick now and I can't just leave Vin Diesel on his own.... tee hee!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Sodding sock pattern!


Why did I have to get lumbered with possibly the worst sock pattern ever?

I thought life would be easier if I used a kit but no! Even a pattern allegedly for beginners leaves me in a state of confusion (cue The Kinks!) so thanks to all those lovely knitters out in Forumland who have helped me make some kind of sense of it!

Fingers crossed, the socks I'm now making for my dad (lovely blue and grey stripey ones, thanks to Regia yarn!) will end up looking ok! Now I just have to hope that I can get the pair done by Sunday!
So everyone needs to cheer me on so that I knit my life away over the next few days to get the job done. All knitting energy should be sent this way - hopefully the next meeting of Swampy Ewe-Knitted will help me big time!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Done it! Hoorah!


Woohoo! I've finished my first pair of socks!!! The heels are not as per pattern but they work and more importantly, the socks fit!


I'm so pleased with myself - first time knitting with DPNs and I expected it to be a total nightmare but I've managed it! Now making the socks for my Dad should be a doddle!

Getting there... slowly!

Well, I've managed to get past the heel turn on the 2nd of my multi-coloured socks. Jeez this one was a bugger! I couldn't for the life of me remember how I managed to do the heel turn on the last sock and made several attempts at following the pattern before giving up and doing it my own way! It works exactly the same so what the hell!

I still don't think the sock looks entirely right. It just seems to me that the inverted V of the heel gusset is too big. Seems to be quite vast and kind of takes over the look of the sock... maybe I'm doing something wrong. Certainly doesn't look like that on the pattern! I think when I do the socks for my dad, I'll follow the heel turn instructions for one of the socks from the 1949 book my Nan lent me! These German heel turns aren't aesthetically pleasing if you ask me!

I'm up to the toe now so I'll be finished in a short while then I can post a piccie of the final article, as modelled by moi!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Lack of sleep and a sickly child doth not a sock make!


I'm never going to get these socks for my dad finished at this rate! I'm bloody knackered after being woken up several times in the night (I didn't get to bed til late anyway) and now Aston's been barfing up chocolate snot! Not the way I usually spend my Sunday afternoons, I can tell you.


I'm about to go and get myself sorted and nip to the corner shop to try and get some Calpol and then maybe I can get on with my knitting for a little while before I have to think about making some tea!


Haven't got very far with this sock as you can see. Supposed to be finished by 27th April. Well actually need it done by 24th so I can wrap it up and take it with me when we all tromp off to Derbyshire for the weekend. If only I could sit and knit for a day! Grrrr!
Little manny isn't well at all though bless him. He's passed out on the sofa now. Managed to get him into his pyjamas quickly before he was totally zonked so at least I don't have to worry about that.
Better get off to the shop now and then I can come back, knit for a bit and then have my tea, all while Aston's asleep.
Bonus!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Hellooooooooo!

Decided to start a blog here since the one I set up on Yahoo 360 won't link to my Ravelry account! doh! Can never have too many blogs anyway!

Well, I tried to do a fancy blog layout like everyone else seems to be able to do but I just can't get it to work so it'll have to stay the way it is for now! hehe.

Spent most of today updating my projects past and present and the contents of my yarn stash on Ravelry. Hasn't been much activity on the other knitting forums today (not that I've paid much attention to them) so that's what I've been doing. Meant taking random pictures of balls of wool and posting them on the internet for all to see!

I'm bloody knackered and about to slouch on the sofa with my knitting and try and do some more of my other sock while I watch Casualty and then catch up with ER and CSI New York. Saturday nights are my blood and gore night! And it's still Medical Month on Discovery Home and Health so there's bound to be more blood and broken bones on show there! Yes - I am weird! I can't help it!

Well, I'm off to sock heaven and a glass of Coca Cola!

TTFN!

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About Me

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I'm a stay at home mum (yes it IS a non-profit industry - I've never had a penny for doing it and I don't know any mums who have!) to Aston who's 2 years old. I have 2 pet rabbits - Malcolm and Jimmy. I'm seperated from my husband and now live back in my hometown of Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent UK. I have also lived in London and West Sussex so I've knocked about the South East of England a bit! I'm a pagan and am inspired by natural things and love anything that's not been tampered with too much. I love watching rugby and football and my fave teams are Bath Rugby (cuz Matt Stevens plays for them! lol) and Fulham FC.