Wednesday, 7 November 2018

WOYWW 492 Peacock Feathers and Purple Spots

This week I’ve been working on crochet and knitting projects.

Crochet Peacock Feathers

Working on the peacock feather embellishments for my peacock scarf.

02 Adding the Barbs to the Feathers

When I did the ironing the other day, I pressed the ones I’d completed and this really improved their appearance. After this I made a few more, but have now run out of the lime green so will need to order some more.

Yesterday I began adding the “barbs” to the feathers. On the above photo you can see the two variations I’ve made of the pattern: one feather with a shaft and one without, with their barbs added – I still have a few more to add to the shaft of the one on the right.

I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with different lengths, and making a chart on my desktop publisher so that I know how many of each length to cut. On the original instructions it said just to add them (no measurements) and then trim them but I thought that was rather wasteful of yarn when I had so many to do (amazing how the inches soon add up!) so I thought a bit of advance planning would pay off better.

Peacock Feather Barbs Chart

They will need a small amount of trimming but nothing significant. I may not have enough of the peacock coloured yarn to complete this so I shall hold out on ordering more of the lime green until I’m sure.

The next step was to comb out the barbs. The instructions said to use a wool carder for this, but when I tried, it tended to pull the strands off so I abandoned that, and tried with a stiff brush, but that didn’t really work.

03 Feathering the Barbs

In the end I used a fine embossing tool to tease out the plies of the strands. They look a bit kinked but once they are steam pressed they should straighten out.

These feathers are proving to be a lot more labour intensive than I’d thought! Attaching the barbs is extremely fiddly, but I don’t really mind because there’s no time limit on this project.

Re-knitting the Purple and Yellow Circles Jumper

04 Back - Knitting in Progress

During the week I made good progress on re-knitting the purple and yellow project I spent so long unravelling. It’s looking good! I had a lot of problems initially because I was keen to centre the pattern repeat. If I don’t do this, when I get to the neck, it will stick out like a sore thumb if it’s wrong! The trouble was, I kept ending up with the wrong number of stitches between the circles, and spent hours and hours undoing it and redoing it until I’d sorted out where I was going wrong. My hubby thought I was spending far too much time and effort on it but I told him if I didn’t get it right at the beginning, the whole thing would be a struggle. Eventually I got it right, and I can now knit away happily, almost with my eyes shut! Well worth the effort, and a good sense of satisfaction for having invested the time in it.


Lily relaxing on my feet. I’d just put the recliner down because I wanted to get up, but she showed no sign of shifting herself and is resting her head against the foot of my table!

01 Lily on My Legs 1-11-18

She is sooo soft and fluffy!

Ruby relaxing on top of Lily.

12 Ruby Sleeping on Top of Lily in Hammock 31-10-18

Her favourite place. Her sister is like a little soft feather mattress. Good thing she doesn’t seem to mind!

After being dirty little stop-outs all through the hot summer, they are now very content to be happy little indoor lap-cats and don’t much appreciate the cold and the rain!

More on the Pet Service

At church on Sunday, our resident photographer had made a montage of all the photos and put them up on the noticeboard.

01 General View

03 Pet Service Montage

Note Lily and Ruby bottom left.

I just had to get a picture of the photo of one of our members coming down the steps outside while doing some work with the Men’s Working Party!! Good thing he’s got a sense of humour!

02 Fun Pic of Len

(For non-UK residents, “HMP” is “Her Majesty’s Prisons.”)


Another turtle again this week, I’m afraid.

52 Another Turtle 4-11-18

I haven’t had time to research further this week, but I’ve got a few Youtube videos saved which I’m going to refer back to, and have another go with a different method and see if I can be more successful. The only thing I can think of that has changed is the weather. When I started with this method I was able to produce a very acceptable loaf – this one was baked back in August.

30 First Really Good Sourdough Loaf Cut 12-8-18

It’s all very mysterious because when I turn the bread out into the Dutch oven after its final proving, it always collapses and spreads, and I’m not getting the required oven spring to give it the height during the first 20 minutes of baking, which I was certainly achieving when I first started using the Dutch oven method. People say that this is all down to the handling, and not over-proving the dough, which causes it to collapse. I don’t think I’m folding it any differently from before, and if the colder weather is having any effect, it would surely be to under-prove the dough, not over-prove it.

This time I did try using a bit more of Esmeralda (my starter) but all that did was to make the dough more hydrated and a bit more difficult to handle. It still collapsed.

It’s disappointing when I have achieved better results in the past, and now seem to have slipped back. I’ve left a couple of comments on the blog of the baker whose technique I have been following, but he hasn’t replied.

I did make another batch of very successful sourdough starters from excess Esmeralda, and I’m pleased with those. Really thin and crispy! This recipe is a huge success and now one of our staples. Very nutritious and tasty.

Health Update

My first pair of support pants arrived, replacing their first attempt which didn’t fit, and they are fine. I contacted the firm immediately and requested the other two pairs to be made as soon as possible to the same pattern, and I’ve heard from them that another prescription has been requested – I had thought they’d ordered all three on the one prescription but apparently not, which is going to cause more delay. She said they would put it through urgently, but at least I’ve got one pair to wear, but I shall have to wear an old pair when they go in the wash.

After receiving a letter from my surgeon confirming the definite return of the hernia, I have now had an appointment to see him in mid-December, which is better than I’d hoped – I really didn’t expect anything before the new year. I hope he will agree to leave it alone and hope for the best, that it doesn’t cause another obstruction. At least Kermit, my stoma, is working very satisfactorily, not like last year when the hernia was causing him so many problems.

I also have my regular six-monthly oncology appointment tomorrow. I am not anxious about this, and am sure that all will continue to be well on that front. After this, I shall probably only see her once a year for the next two years, and if all continues to be clear, they should discharge me after that.

Other Activities

Last week we went to Somerset and met up with some friends who live near Bristol. We try to meet up for a meal several times a year, choosing a place that’s about mid-way between us. They are very old friends – my hubby knew them years before I met him, and we’ve been married 32 years, so they are very much part of our lives! We had our usual brilliant time, with a great meal too. She has completed all her embroidery City and Guilds and is now working on her diploma (what she laughingly calls her “diplomol” as they would say in Bristol! – on old maps, Bristol is called “Bristow” but they have to put an “L” on the end of everything haha!). She is very good indeed at what she does. I took along the album I made about Mum, in its new box, so that she could see what I’d been up to lately. As it was quite a long drive, I was able to work on my knitting, and sorted out the problem on the way up.

I’ve got to try and do some cooking tomorrow or on Thursday – I’ve got chicken and lots of roasting veggies arriving in my grocery order tomorrow, so I can get on and produce some freezer fodder.


  1. Happy WOYWW. You are so clever and organised - that chart for the peacock feathers (which are just glorious) is a thing of beauty. If you ever want some VA work, then I am going to need some organised associates! How lovely to see that montage of photos for the pet service. Glad your pants arrived and fit. Great to hear that you have a hospital appointment relatively soon. Ali x #8

  2. Oh wow, beautiful crochet. Love the colors of both projects. I find there is no manuvering cats !! They get comfy and you move around them. I miss having 2. Enjoy a great week.

  3. Hi Shoshi, you have been busy. Love the peacock feathers, very clever. Hope the appointments go well, and as you want. What a nuisance about the pants! Have a great week, Hugs, Shaz #5 XxX

  4. Those peacock feathers are most impressive, What a beautiful project you are working on.
    Shame about the sourdough but I am sure it will come right in the end - at least it is still edible which is what the aim is.
    How enjoyable it must be to go to church and see the photos mounted up like that of the Pet Service. I had to smile at the one of the guy behind the bars, very good!
    Glad your pants are sorted now and things are moving in the right direction - just include you in prayer for success.
    Hugs, Neet 10 xx

  5. Those feathers are just wonderful. I am so enjoying watching you create them.
    I am with you about getting the pattern right at the very beginning, that knitting is looking soooo good. I don't knit very much and have had several weird and wonderful creations over the years! I learnt the hard way....
    Christine #22

  6. Your peacock feathers are beauties and they will look stunning on your scarf - what a lovely pattern for them. I am glad the yellow and mauve is coming along well, I do love that colour combo with the subtleties of the shade variations - just gorgeous.
    I hope you get your bread mystery sorted out, the only thing I can suggest is perhaps the temperature of your oven is different - an oven thermometer should let you know how evenly it's heating up and where the slightly cooler or over-heated spots might be - just a thought.
    What a relief that your support pants have arrived - hasn't that been going on a while now - it's a shame there will be a delay on the others but at least this pair are correct.
    As always the kitties are adorable and I enjoyed the photos of the pet service. Hope you have a good week,
    Diana x #21

  7. Glad you have had an appointment date for this year and that your support garment finally fits properly. Let's hope the other two turn up soon. Meow to Lily and Ruby. Sarah #17

  8. wow, those peacock feathers for your scarf are amazing! I'd be so frustrated with the pattern going wrong on your re-knit, too; but doubt I'd have the patience to keep re-doing it! Have a good week and fingers crossed for tomorrow, I am sure all will be well. Helen #1

  9. Hi Shoshi, great colours on the peacock feathers. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished scarf. Glad that you finally got a pair of pants that fit, just a shame you now have to wait for the other pairs. I hope your appointments go well, that is a quick appointment for your hernia. Have a lovely week Heather x #7

  10. Those Peacock Feathers are coming along beautifully, I do love the colours you have chosen and hope you have enough yarn to finish them. It will be a wonderful piece when completed.
    Nice for you to meet up with friends, meeting half way makes great sense as long journeys can at times take the fun out of visits.
    The cats look as if they are settling for the approaching winter, they will be sleeping more than playing when the time comes.
    Happy woyww & take good care Tracey #3
    P.S Good to see that lovely photograph of you both on the church board and the one of Ruby & Lily of course x

  11. I love your peacock feathers! I think all the work is worth it - the scarf will be truly fabulous when it's finished! I can feel your frustration with the bread - you say you are following a particular baker - what about trying someone new (someone who maybe will correspond with you?). Glad you got the pants sorted out, that's one sigh of relief anyway! Lily and Ruby do look very comfy on that chair together! have a great week, Lindart #32

  12. Those peacock feathers look amazing and just the perfect colours! I love the idea of the pet service but I expect the dogs enjoyed it more than the cats! Ruby and Lily look cute in their box though they must have been wondering what was going on! Is that a couple with a plush tiger - bless! Good to hear the new pants fit and hope you get the other two soon. One needs more than one pair of pants, after all! I'm late doing my rounds - just been too busy trying to catch up following a week away. Happy Sunday! xx

  13. Hi Shoshi, thanks so much for your return visit, I'm so glad the oncology appointment went well and you are OK. Regarding the clay pipe stems, I have occasionally found them on antique stalls but I've also purchased them on Ebay - they are usually found and sold by people with a licence for mud larking on the Thames. I also have rather a lot of pipe bowls, some of which are beautifully decorative but it's harder to find things to do with them as they are that much bigger!
    Enjoy what's left of the week, I can't believe we are nearly at Wednesday again - where does it go!
    Diana x


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