When the novelty wears off..

Following on from my previous post I can happily say that I am no longer smitten with snow.  I know, I know – that didn’t take long, but really, seriously, what a pain in the arse these weather conditions are.

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The frozen Warren by the frozen River Wye

Walking the dogs has turned into a mission.  Just getting out the door through three-foot of snow and down the driveway has become perilous.  Mr T has slipped and fallen twice already.  He is ok but I am mortified that on both occasions when he told me about it, I laughed so hard and so long I thought I was going to have a heart attack – I just couldn’t help myself.  Fortunately my hilarity was infectious and he started laughing as well.  I am not helped by a hormonal trough which has me exhausted and tearful for no obvious reason.  Tiredness makes me laugh inappropriately – go figure..

I found several tiny, feathered corpses on our walk down the river this morning, the birds are having a hard time of it, despite everyone putting out extra food for them.  I felt very sorry for the pair of resident swans as the river has frozen over in some places.

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Mr T only just made it home on Thursday evening the weather conditions were so bad, and thankfully his work was cancelled yesterday and today.  We have checked on our elderly neighbours and everyone is ok.  The only casualty has been a neighbour who we rarely see and who we had been told did not take well to visitors.  Yesterday morning, Pearl, our oldest neighbour, had sent her son over to check he was alright and when he didn’t respond to knocking, Pearl rang the police.  Shortly after a police officer,  a community support officer and a national parks officer arrived and eventually managed to talk the man into receiving some help.  It took them over an hour to get him to leave his house and go with them, and we were all very pleased that he was going to be looked after.  It’s difficult trying to care for people who don’t want help but those men took the time and we were so impressed with them – and particularly impressed with Pearl..

In the meantime I am distracting myself from how bad it is going to be when the snow starts melting and all the paths ice, by obsessing over Gee’s Bend quilts and binge watching Brooklyn 99.

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Denim, corduroy, synthetic blend (britches legs with pockets)
108 x 77 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

This is the Contour Shawl by Joanne Scrace (available on Ravelry) that I am working on using Koigu Painter’s Palette yarn.  It is a simple pattern but my hormonally buggered brain is making the crocheting of it a slow process, I seem to be constantly frogging and restitching.  So I am giving it a rest.

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I will stop now, I am impressed that I have got this far..  We are warm and dry and not lacking in anything except sunshine – and that will come.  We are grateful..

Go well all..

 

 

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As I emerge blinking into the light..

Regarding my last post – one of the reasons I had been feeling so crappy is because I had had the flu since Christmas day and two weeks on, just as I thought I was getting better, the glands came up under my chin and back I was, sofa bound (apart from walking dogs) again.

I am finally well and have emerged ready and able to listen to all the other poor sods who have also been ill, and there are many, probably because around Christmas everyone gets more social than usual and we cheerfully and unknowingly go about the town spreading our germs.

While I was ill, our possessions that we had shipped, arrived from New Zealand. Unfortunately I was in no fit state to deal with them and it is only now that we have finally got down to the last box.

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Family heirlooms worth shipping across the world – plastic flower lights, Marmite tray and Big Blue the Pot

 

 

 

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Never go anywhere without this motley crew 🙂

It is lovely to have all our rugs and bits and pieces about again although it is taking some doing, shoe horning everything in to our tiny bolt hole.  It is fortunate that I was rigorous in what I packed, although somehow a large amount of yarn managed to find itself secreted into whatever crevice it could be stuffed into.

And talking about yarn – here is my new poncho which I whipped up when I got hold of some discounted, beautiful Japanese Noro Hanabatake wool and silk yarn on Ebay – yay!  Finished just in time for this very freezing weather.

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I am going now to take tea and catch up on some socialising but I will be back later in the week with a couple of blog posts about some of my friends here in Hay-on-Wye and I’ve got lots of lovely photos to show you.   Have an awesome day 🙂

 

 

 

it’s great being back..

One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at our new home in Hay-on-Wye, just over two months ago, was this stone doorstop covered in a crochet cozy by my dear friend Em who had found us this flat in the first place.

It is always a bit worrying when you rent a place sight unseen and although the flat has a few small downsides it has turned out to be a great, little bolt hole.

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And it is wonderful to be back in Hay!  Really so good.  We arrived back to a spectacular autumn, warm and beautiful.  Our house lacks a garden so we have to walk our dogs a lot and we have visited quite a few of our old haunts, up on the Begwns (where it is possible to see all of the Brecon Beacons National Park from the roundabout at the top), Cusop Dingle where I was happy to greet my favourite, majestic Copper Beech, and the castle at Clun on the way up to Montgomery.We live close to the Wye River so that is the default walk of the day.

 

Two months has been enough for the weather to slide into winter and so far we have had one furious storm and yesterday and today the temperatures have dropped to well below zero and even though the sky is clear blue and sunny  the frost stays on the ground all day.

Our flat is in an old, stone building that used to be the work house, it has massive thick walls and is amazingly warm so that even though it is minus 5 outside I don’t need to have the heating on.  I was not best pleased to hear of the buildings horrible history when I got here but I like to think that we will be adding some happier atmosphere to it, besides Em tells me she smudged the place before we moved in to clear any negative energy and whether the smoke helped or not it’s the intention that matters.

Mr T is working back in his old job and has found a welcoming chess club based in a pub in Presteigne, not far from his work.  I am back making things to sell and consciously working on keeping the Black Slug of depression at bay, which is made easier by good friends, beautiful surroundings, our lovely dogs who need lots of walks in the fresh air and it’s nearly Yule!!

This weekend the Christmas lights were turned on on Friday night and that plus the Hay Winter Festival, Food Festival on Saturday, Vintage Market on Sunday meant that the town was full of happy wanderers even more so that usual.

It is lovely living here, we are so very lucky..

 

Now – where are my dried frog pills?  Ahh, that’s better…

So, where was I?  Doesn’t matter – I’m not there now..

Last time I looked I wasn’t Atlas, I do not have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and every now and then, like today and Sunday, I remember and my world becomes a lighter place.

What am I up too?  Well, it’s the middle of winter here in little, old N.Z. and mostly I seem to spend a lot of time putting wood on the fire to keep warm.  And dressing in lots of layers, and walking the dogs in the rain and drying wet dogs and wet washing and – well you get the picture.

I do like the winter though, especially when we get truly wild weather like we had yesterday, southerlies rolling in, lots of dramatic, freezing wind and rain.  Giving me a chance to wear some of my sixty million shawls and hats and socks and boots.

I have been making stuff as usual, like this blanket, which handily warms my knees as I hook it.

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The latest shawl, fresh of the hook and waiting to be blocked.  It’s called The Sunday Shawl from a pattern on Ravelry and I am pleased with it except I could have been more careful about the main colour – dark blue is a blond dog fur magnet.

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I am also doing some stitching, using my natural dyed fabrics.  My brain has not been working well recently and although I wanted to stitch something really complicated it turned out that energy and concentration levels as well as the ability to MAKE A DECISION FFS, were not playing together nicely.  So I’m keeping the design simple but interesting (to me anyway).  I will show you it again when it’s finished.

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I have company during my day of course, there is this dog..

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and this dog..

 

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and both of them are giving me the ‘it’s time to take us for a walk’ signals, so I’m off.  See you soon hopefully 🙂

 

still counting them..

We have had a couple of days of dry spring weather, enough for me to have got all our washing done with one lot still on the line which hopefully will dry before the forecast rain sets in.  House cleaned as well today with MrT perched in bed still while I vacuumed and the dogs shut out of the house because they delight in fighting the vacuum cleaner.

I have just got back from walking the dogs down at the river where I met a lovely older lady also walking her dog and carrying a big bag full of rubbish that she had picked up along the way – apparently she does it every day, doesn’t like visitors to the town to get a bad impression.  The rubbish situation isn’t helped by the total absence of any bins along the path.   People like her are a blessing and I have promised to try to do my bit as well..

I have finished and blocked another shawl, made with a simple pattern to show off the lovely colours of the Lang Mille Colori Sock yarn.

P1030944P1030942My idea is that eventually I will try to sell my shawls on either the NZ craft website Felt or list them on Trade Me (the NZ equivalent of ebay) and I need to get on with it because I want to wear them myself so I figure at least if no one wants to buy them I will be able to claim them.

Because shawls take such a long time to make (especially using fine yarn) I sometimes feel a great urge to break out and make something quick with lovely chunky yarn and I found myself in that mood on Wednesday night.  Searching Ravelry for a hat pattern I came across The Alpaca Slouch Hat by A Creative Being.  Now as some of you crocheters out there may know Marinke (or Wink as she liked to be called) and who rang the blog ‘A Creative Being’  terminated her life in June.  This was a hell of a awful shock to everyone and certainly to me.   I had been thinking of making one of Wink’s patterns in memory of her and so large hook in hand I had that sucker made and ready to wear the next day.  And it’s a beauty – I love it, as did my two friends at Stitch and Bitch on Thursday evening who put in orders.  What I don’t love however is that I am not able to show it to Wink as she requested at the end of the pattern.

Me in my new Wink hat
Me in my new Wink hat

Finally I thought I would just like to pop in a gratuitous photo of Charlie in a dolls pram. This was not my idea but Mr Ts who seems to very much enjoy putting small dogs in baskets, bags and prams – i’m not sure how Charlie felt about it but he did hop out fairly quickly..

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Poor Charles, he has a lot to put up with..

finding that my head is likely buried in yarn..

First post for March, yay!

I have been very unwell again but I think I may be ironing myself out, thanks to a visit with my head doctor and upped medication, which is good because we are leaving tomorrow for a very long weekend in New Plymouth at the WOMAD festival.  Tickets ever so kindly gifted to us by our very good friends Sue and Mike – how cool is that.

I have been worrying that I would be unwell and that would spoil it all, but to be frank – you can be depressed anywhere really and I have a lovely camp bed to curl up in if things turn to cactus head wise.  I love camping, I love sleeping in tents, it is such a treat.  There is going to be masses of different kinds of music and I am just about completely ignorant of most of it so it will be a musical adventure as well.

Crochet wise I have been very busy, having as usual, several projects on the go.  I found one that had been resting since last year when I finally got it together to sort out my yarn stash – no mean feat believe me, .

I found this pattern on Ravelry and used the link with the English translation.  The original is called Schultertuch/Dreieckstuch if you are interested.  It is probably my favourite shawl pattern at the moment, it seems to look good in any yarn and that really is amazing.  Here is mine – nearly finished, oh and the wool is Drops Delight 4 ply and I am on my second ball.

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So after such a structured pattern I had to go and do this little wild beauty, crocheted with scraps including  silk sari yarn, remnants of Noro and fabric strips.  It looks surprisingly good on..

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I have also sold one of my flower square bags and have nearly finished another. This is the one I sold..

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and this little beauty is waiting for it’s lining and to have it’s ends woven in, then it can go out to it’s forever home..P1030877

In addition to this I have started on another granny square bag, pretty much like my one that you can see in this photo.  It is two years old now and in need of a de-bobbling but is still my main stay particularly in summer.  I love it because although it holds a heap when you dump it on the table it can just open out and it is easy to find everything.

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I have other projects on the horizon as well, so the hooks will be burning with all the friction I’ll be treating them to.  I have ordered some Lang Mille Colori Sock and Lace Luxe yarn to make a shawl out of.  Sometimes it is difficult to source certain yarn in New Zealand and this yarn in particular was hard to find, and when I did find it very expensive.  But good old internet to the rescue, I found a British site that not only sold Lang at a cheaper price but gave me 10% off for the first order and also free postage!  So Loveknitting.com I take my hat off to you.  I have the joy of a parcel of yarny goodness winging its way across the world to me soon.

Enough already, I am off to get ready for the festival.  I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to.  See you soon..

tangled tomatos – amongst other things…

P1030833One of the jobs that Mr T was tasked with last weekend was untangling and tying up our tomato plants, left to lie and fraternize amongst themselves, that had begun to topple over with their own weight, and had my Mum tut-tutting at our laissez-faire approach to gardening- where were the neat, upright rows that she was so enamored of?  I don’t know, the young people these days..

The hot weather has dried and cracked the ground and for miles around the grass is straw coloured and tinder dry.  The lucky amongst us find a cool, shady tree to lie under.  Preferably on a swing seat they got for Christmas 😉

P1030839It has to be said that the first part of this week has been wasted by the black slug of depression and I was fearful of it lasting longer but this morning I woke a little better and was even more improved by the sound of the courier dropping off a parcel.  The long awaited (not so long – I am just impatient)  Flow Book for Paper Lovers had arrived and it was out of bed to fetch coffee and toast and back with Toastie and Charlie to help me unwrap the book.  Oh it is so lovely – containing all manner of papery goodness, stickers and tags and labels and writing paper, satisfyingly weighty and stuffed full.

P1030824If you are looking it would make a great present for someone.  I will show you a few pages..

P1030831 P1030830 P1030827 P1030826My crochet cardigan is coming along slowly, very slowly the pile grows.

P1030822I have bought another ten skeins of wool which will be enough to finish it, so now all I need is a clear head to do the work.  I am hoping that is not too much to ask?