Sunday, 3 August 2014

If my head wasn't screwed on........

I'd forget it!!!





Good morning good people! How the devil are you all?

This morning the blog comes from the Wirral. I'm visiting my mum and dad for a couple of days at the start of my holiday. 

So far my holiday has been a catalogue of errors. Starting on Friday night. 

We had had a lovely night with Matthew's family, catching up and having a great fun. It was the first time in ages I'd had more than one glass of wine. In fact, I'd probably had three and was a little bit tiddled if I'm honest. It got to about 10 pm and we decided to go home, Ben was getting tired and we had to pack up and leave for my mum' handy on the Saturday morning. 

I had just settled down on the sofa with a SOFT drink when my mobile rang. 'Unknown' came up on the screen. I have to say I was in two minds as to whether or not to answer it. I did and a nice gentleman from Cumbria Constabulary advised me that the alarm was going off at  the health centre where I work. There was an unsecured door. I had to go down and sort it. 

Thankfully Matthew hadn't had three glasses of wine and was able to drive me down. So, rather than getting ready for bed as he'd planned, poor Ben was bundled into the car and we all set off to town. Thankfully I work just 5 minutes away. As we pulled up into the car park I could see two police vans and a police car parked up. I realised that this was not going to be a quick job! I introduced myself to the officers and asked if they'd give me a lift home when this was all sorted. I told the boys to go home and settled in for a long wait. 

"Why the wait?" I hear you ask. The police officer who seemed to be in charge had decided to call in a dog to search the premises before he'd go in and see what was happening. We were stood in Penrith. The dog in question was in Workington about 40 miles away! Thankfully said dog had a handler who had a car, so he was about 30 minutes away. 

I chatted with the police officers while we waited for the dog van to arrive. Once it did, what appeared to be a pre-pubescent boy got out! (Dear lord, I felt SO old at this point!) he was lovely and jolly and had a huge Alsatian dog who was excited to get to work. A brief search later and it was deemed safe for us to go in and try to sort the alarm out. 

At this point I should state that I only have a key for one door in the health centre and for my pharmacy. Each doctors practice and clinic have their own alarm systems to which I have no access. All I could do was to make sure it wasn't my alarm going off (it wasn't! Phew!) and lock the offending door behind me. 

At this point I'd like sympathise with the good folk of Penrith because I think that alarm will have sounded on and off all night! Sorry guys, but there was nothing I could do about it! I couldn't even work out which alarm was going off!!

A lovely young police officer gave me a lift home in a police van. I'd like at this point to clarify I was sat in the FRONT of the van, not in the back ;-) I could feel the curtains twitch as the van pulled up outside my house at close to midnight!!

A great start to my holidays. 

Saturday saw the usual state of affairs start. The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for rain and floods. Sigh!

I wanted to get down to my mum's as soon as possible before the weather got too bad, so I rushed around the house, packing up bits and bobs I'd need for the trip. Clothes, toiletries, knitting. You know..... just the essentials! 

On the way to my mum's I needed to stop in at Manchester. It isn't strictly on the way, but it's close enough. Matthew and I had decided to buy a kitchen cabinet on eBay. The gent selling it had delivered a kitchenette to us a while ago, but this time the purchase coincided with my trip to mum's so I decided to pick it up. This side trip added an hour onto our journey, so I was doubly keen to set off. I cleaned the windscreen, topped up the fluids and off we jolly well went. 

As we got further south the rain became heavier, in places I was only travelling at 40 miles an hour because of the surface water. We arrived safely and the unit fitted snug as a bug in a rug in the back of my car. I discovered you can lift the bottom bits of the seats lift up so the backs lie flat! Every day is a school day! 

After a really hairy trip down the M53 we arrived safely at mum's and unpacked the car. 
Travel bag - check.  
Hand bag - check
Knitting bag - 
Knitting bag - 

OH! Holy yarn balls batman?!?!?!?! 

Where was my knitting bag!?

I text Matthew, praying I'd left it at home, because otherwise I'd left it on a pavement in Manchester!!

Thankfully (ish) I'd left it at home!  This put me in the horrible position of having NO knitting for the next 3 days?!?!?!?!? 

This is BAD people!!!!

There was nothing for it! I'd have to find a yarn shop! I can't last 3 whole days with no knitting! It can't be done!!

Off we went to Voirrey. It is a craft shop in Brimstage, a small village on the Wirral. Once upon a time Voirrey was a wonderful shop filled to the rafters with cross stitch kits, yarn and other fabric goodness. My heart sank as we approached the door to find shelving outside with loom bands and other cheap tatt on. This didn't bode well. 

As you enter the shop on the left hand side used to be where all the silks and fabric could be found for cross stitch, now it was full of children's toys. If you turned right you used to find the cross stitch kits stretching as far as your eye could see, now they adorn one wall the rest of the space being filled with assorted bits an bobs, none of which was overly inspiring. 

You travel further into the shop and you still find the fabric emporium, the one area that remains unchanged and still lovely. You move further in to find the yarn section. I was bitterly dissapointed. If you look at their website you'd have positive,excited thoughts about the yarns they stock, the notions and patterns. Sadly this wasn't backed up by what my eyes saw. Most of the shelves had a single row of  yarn on. Some were completely empty. The yarn was uninspired. Lots of acrylic, cheap and cheerful yarn. They did have a selection of sock yarn, but the rest was that icky stuff that essentially knits itself into frilly scarves that have never seen a sheep! 

I picked up a ball of Regia self striping sock yarn, but they didn't have DPN's in a size I could happily knit up socks with so I set it down. The only sizes they had where 4mm and 2.75mm. So I plumped for the 2.75mm and a ball of Rico Superba Country 6ply. It's a subtly variegated black/purple colour. 

I also picked up some lovely sparkly buttons and some fabric I'm hoping to use to appliqué onto my Camp Aloha Friends skirt. 

On the whole I'm sure you've picked up that I was dissapointed with my trip. It strikes me that Voirrey is confused about what it wants to be. It's spreading it's resources too thin, some focus is required so that it does a few things well, rather than trying to be all things to all men. 

But still, I had one project to work on now, and I cast on a vanilla sock as my mum drove us home. I was rather chuffed with myself actually. I managed to do a Turkish cast on using DPN's. Happy days. 

The afternoon was spent raiding my mum's paper crafting stash. I wanted to make some tags. I'd made some with bits and bobs I had at home earlier at camp and I was happy with what I'd come up with. I knew that I wanted to play more with the idea, so after picking some papers, cards and embelishments Mum, Ben and I settled down to some crafting. 

We had lots of fun. I also made some writing paper. I can't wait to sit quietly and use those sheets and send them off to some special folk. 

Feeling the love - 

In my bag that is languishing at home are the projects I wanted to share with you, so photos will follow next week. 

I worked on Ben's socks this week, I turned the heel and I'm now working up the leg. Thankfully Ben doesn't want the socks to be too long, so in a couple of rows I'll start the ribbing. 

I also worked on the shawl I'm designing. I'm still enjoying the project and I'm happy with how it's turning out. Hopefully I'll have a pattern written up ready to be tested sooner rather than later. 

I also started another pair of socks. I am taking no responsibility for these socks what so ever! I received a message from 'xraymd' Andrea asking for some pointers for knitting the Thanks socks. We've exchanged a few messages, and I decided to knit along with her. I'm knitting the pattern as originally written by Regina Satta this time, the only modifications I'm making are in the way I'm making the increases and decreases. I love this sock. The way it's constructed makes it feel like a super quick knit. I've turned my first heel and I'm now racing down the foot. I even did the heel as written, my first heel flap and gusset since I discovered the Fish Lips Kiss Heel so many months ago! I'm using 15cm DPN's that I bought at Woolfest and the gusset is so much easier to work on them than the usual DPN's I use for socks. I think I'll keep my old ones for FLK heels and use the longer 15cm ones if I'm wanting to make gussets - fewer problems with stitches falling off and running for the hills!!

Last week I took the plunge and fulled the BFL/silk singles. I wound it onto my niddy noddy and I was pleasantly surprised that it only broke twice. I was convinced it would fall apart. I put plenty of ties on it and then gave it the shock of it's life! Ben helped me as I plunged it from hot to cold water. He especially liked thwacking it on the veranda rail.
Doesn't look like much right now does it?!

 I had put the skein in my knitting bag along with my niddy noddy so that I could re-skein and measure it. I suppose that will have to wait now! Ggggrrrr

Any hoo

On the horizon - 

Who knows!?

The next 2 weeks are my own. I've no real plans, so I'm excited to see what I will get done

On the crafty front, I've got 2 pairs of socks to finish, 2 shawls, a skein of yarn to re-skein and measure, a skirt to make, a project bag to weave fabric for and then put together and who knows what Mel has in store for us in August. I can't wait!!!

I'll keep you posted

Have a great week

Ellen x