Archive for August, 2006

Secret Pal Prize!

Posted by on Aug 31 2006 | Crafty things, Swaps and Exchanges

A while ago, the hostess of my group, Shelby, asked us to post about our current works in progress, and as a result I won a prize, which I collected from the post office this morning. So many lovely treats!

I have some berocco yarn in such a beautiful purple colour – it’s absolutely perfect for me and I think it might become a thin evening scarf type thing. There was also a fab card, some bright coloured pony pearl needles (I’ve been using Pony pearl dpns and they’ve been lovely to knit with, and I love bright coloured needles), and some beautiful glass bead stitch markers.

I’m very lucky. Thank you so much for being such a fab hostess Shelby.

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Picnic blanket square

Posted by on Aug 30 2006 | Crafty things

This is my contribution to the picnic blanket we’ve been making to go with the knitted picnic for the electric picnic. Lots of us from the knitting group have made a square, and the wonderful Sharon, who has been organising all of this has put them all together. It’s a great looking blanket. The plan is to donate it to a charity when we’re done at the picnic.

The pattern is sort of the ballband dishcloth pattern from the Mason-Dixon knitting book, and it’s knit in the celtic aran I had left over from the garter stitch scarf.

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Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Posted by on Aug 29 2006 | Delicious Things

Yes, that’s what I meant to say – Hot chocolate on a stick. A gift from France. (Thanks Fin!)

Take your stick of hot chocolate.

Heat some milk. This is soya milk, because I prefer it to cow juice, but, you know, use whatever you like best.

Pop stick of chocolate into milk and stir.

The milk turns chocolatey as the chocolate melts.

This was sooo delicious. It really should’ve been made and drunk from a bowl instead, but the mug worked. Once it reached a certain point the chocolate fell off, so once I’d finished drinking there was melty deliciousness waiting at the bottom of the cup.

Oh, and yes, just after I took the third picture I did nibble some of the chocolate off. Anyone would have, it was impossible to resist.

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Weekend Knitting

Posted by on Aug 27 2006 | Crafty things

Sushi, anyone? While it’s not as delicious as the veggie sushi I was eating last week, it is made with my own fair hands. Do you think I need some nori maki too? It’ll mean a trip to buy more white.

Also in knitted picnic for the Electric Picnic news, I made a square for the picnic blanket:

Spot the problem? Yep, it’s not actually square. I think I forgot some decreases. That’s what comes from knitting anything with a pattern with a migraine. (It was mild, I carried on with my day anyway, I’m fed up of wasting time not doing anything when resting doesn’t actually get rid of the damn things. If I can get up and leave a dark room I will.)

Aside from the fact that it’s not actually square I was really pleased wih this – I loved the way the uneven stripes looked. So, it was with regret that I turned it into this:

For a little while it was the beginnings of another square, but it was looking wrong and curling really badly so it ended up back in the two balls again. I’ve put it away for the evening now and I’m hoping it’ll tell me what it wants to be very very soon as it needs to be in the post Tuesday at the very latest, and that’s using swiftpost. It might want to look like a mason-dixon ballband dishcloth, but it’s not being cast on until it’s made it’s mind up.

Earlier today, in a fit of wanting knitting that I had to think about, I cast on for Branching Out again. This ended in tears the last time, but I’m not letting a pattern beat me, so out it came again.

After I went wrong on the third pattern row and had to rip back I decided it would be wise to start using lifelines, which is why there’s blue cotton and sandy cotton in the mix. I’m assuming that this will look better once it’s washed and blocked (and finished of course). I’m taking my time and only working on this when I’m feeling awake. I have the pattern for the fibertrends Lace Leaf shawl, but I want to see how I get on with this before I start on that.

All in all, a productive weekend’s knitting. Aside from all the ripping out.

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Posted by on Aug 27 2006 | Writing

John and Mary used to love travelling. For their honeymoon, when John was 21 and Mary 19, they took a trip to Europe, visiting France and Italy. When their children were young they took them on camping trips to Brittany, Cornwall and the Lake District. When John first retired they took coach trips, travelling to the Norwegian Fjords, Northern Germany and even St. Petersburg.

It seemed natural then, to their children, now adults looking forward to retirement themselves, to treat John and Mary to a weekend away for their golden wedding anniversary. The whole trip was organised for them – the first class seats on the plane, a taxi from the airport, the suite in the four star hotel, and a champagne dinner in the hotel on the Saturday evening. It all sounded wonderful.

The trouble was, that John and Mary weren’t as young as they used to be, and hadn’t travelled for several years. It had been so difficult at the airport. Everyone seemed to be in such a rush, and nobody seemed able to show them where they were supposed to go. At the security check they had had to take their shoes off. Everyone behind them was in such a hurry, and Mary went as fast as she could, but her hands didn’t work as well as they used to, and there was no seat for her to sit on while she took them off. John tried to help but his back was bad and it was just as difficult for him.

The stewardess on the aeroplane had been lovely, and had made sure they were both settled into their seats with everything they needed. She’d even put their bags up into the space above the seats for them, to save John having to stretch. The flight was so noisy though, and Mary could feel her feet swelling so. She hoped she wouldn’t have to take her shoes off again when they landed.

The baggage hall was terrifying. John waited for their small black suitcase to arrive while Mary sat patiently on the chairs to one side. The suitcase went around the carousel twice before John was able to get through the crowd of people and retrieve it.

The hotel was much fancier than anywhere they’d stayed before, but they were both too exhausted from the journey there to enjoy it. Mary unpacked the few clothes they had brought with them and made them each a cup of tea, and then they both sat in front of the television for the evening, too tired to venture out.


Armed with the guide book they had been given, and a map from the hotel, John and Mary set out early the next day, determined to see a few sights so that they could report back to their children that they had had a wonderful time. The city was bustling in the early morning, full of people pushing their way past trying to get to work, or to the shops, or wherever else it was that they needed to be in such a rush. The streets seemed to blend in to one another, and the signs seemed to lead them on a wild goose chase, round and round in circles.

John could see that Mary was tiring, and felt the need to protect her, to take her away from all the people and the noise and bustle, to take her back to the hotel where they could sit and have a nice cup of tea in peace. The hotel had postcards, and they could venture out again later to find some souvenirs to take back to their grandchildren. First they had to find out where they were, and how to get back to the hotel.


Inspired by Directions taken by Pablo Gavilan from Flickr.

Written for Flickr Fiction Friday. You can usually find Flickr Fiction by:Elimare, Donal, Tadamack, Aquafortis, HeavySigh, and Chris.

Late this week, sorry. Also a bit rushed again, but this time because I found the whole story too sad to face getting into in too much detail.

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