Wednesday, 27 March 2019

WOYWW 512 Backwards Knitting, Wrong Hymn Tunes and Wise Cracks

Yes, I know I haven’t been around for a few weeks – same old story, I’m afraid, too busy with other things, and also I haven’t been too well. The only creative stuff I’ve been doing is my knitting, but it’s been far from uninteresting!

One of my favourite ways of knitting is in the round with a circular needle, because you never turn the work. You just keep knitting and not purling because the reverse side is always away from you. I prefer to use a circular needle for knitting back and forth, too, rather than normal needles, because the weight of the knitting sits in your lap and it’s a lot more comfortable and less effort to do, but of course you do have to purl on alternate rows, turning the work between each row, 

This week I have discovered something extraordinary – Backwards Knitting! I have been knitting all my life and have never come across this before – I love Youtube and Pinterest which have taught me so many new techniques, and there’s always something new to learn, whatever you are interested in. People do come up with the most extraordinary ideas, and this one really works!

The idea behind Backwards Knitting is that rather than knitting alternate knit and purl rows, you do not turn the work, but on what would normally be a purl row, you knit backwards! I know, it sounds really weird… Here’s the link to the Youtube video I found, that shows you how to do it.

Here are my written instructions how to do it.

Normal knitting starts the row with LH needle full, and the RH needle empty. With the knit side facing, knit to the end of the row as normal.

To knit the next row backwards, do not turn the work. You are now beginning a row with the RH needle full, and the LH needle empty.

How to do backwards knitting

1.  Insert LH needle into back of stitch on RH needle (LH needle goes behind RH needle).

2.  Wrap yarn around LH needle, anti-clockwise.

3.  Pull RH needle towards you, up and over the tip of LH needle, passing the existing stitch over the yarn you wrapped around the LH needle.

4.  Release the loop. Stitch complete, on LH needle. Continue to the end of the row.

You never need to purl again!

I find this is very good when you are working with two colours. Without the weaving of the yarn facing you (on the purl side), you can see the pattern much more clearly, on every row, rather than just on the knit rows, so you are less likely to go wrong.

When I first started doing this, it was a real struggle, and I wondered if it was worth the effort because it took me so long to work one row, but already, on the next backwards row, I was getting better at it, and although it’s still slower than a normal knit row, I am improving with practice. It’s rather fun to do, and I have a feeling that my tension is improving, too.

I am making very good progress up the front of the purple circles jumper. I have yet to design the neck on graph paper.

Blog Photos

A while back, when Google changed things again, I discovered that all the photos on my 8-yr-old blog had vanished, and so began the huge task of replacing them all. Working backwards, I have now got to July of last year so progress is being made, if slowly. I am trying to do at least one post a day. The trouble is, something has again gone wrong with the link between Open Live Writer (the programme I use for composing my blog posts) and Blogger – something to do with Google changing (deleting?) Picassa or something, so I now have to do a work-around to get posts with photos to publish, which takes twice as long as normal, but hopefully this glitch will get sorted eventually. What a pain it all is. It’s going to take at least a year to get it all complete by my reckoning.

Shoshi in Silentio

A couple of weeks ago I got laryngitis and was completely voiceless for a week. (Everybody was congratulating my hubby and saying how fortunate he was…) To call him downstairs for meals I had to thump on the floor with a crutch, which reverberated round the house very satisfactorily. I have felt really tired and had to rest a lot after unavoidable periods of busyness during the whole period. I am now speaking again, but in church on Sunday, wasn’t able to sing a note, until the final hymn when I simply had to force myself – it was a well-known hymn but the organist had chosen the alternative tune, because the normal tune had, unusually, been used for an earlier hymn in the service. My hubby was sitting behind me and for the whole of the first verse of the hymn, he bellowed out at the top of his voice the wrong tune!! There was a certain amount of confusion all around us and I turned round and sang the correct tune as loud as I could manage it for the next couple of verses until he got the message!! Never let it be said that my hubby is without conviction, and loudly, to boot! I’m not sure when I shall ever be able to sing again!

Wise Crack

While I was without speech I had an emergency dental appointment with toothache. He found a crack in one of my wisdom teeth which he filled with a temporary filling, and I have to return tomorrow to have the permanent one done. I am a total coward when it comes to the dentist and shall be very glad when it’s over.

Butterfly Mint

This week my hubby bought two cat mint plants for the garden, to encourage Ruby not to think about trying to get out. The trouble is, we don’t think it’s the right sort of cat mint. On the label it said, “Cat Mint. Encourages butterflies and bees.” Lol! It’s butterfly mint, not cat mint at all! We pulled a few leaves off to see how the kitties would respond. Ruby wasn’t interested, and Lily was frightened of it!! Doing a bit of online research my hubby found that there are different varieties of cat mint and the ones he bought were apparently the wrong ones. It may be, of course, that our two kitties are in the 30 percent minority who can’t smell the stuff. That would be soooo typical.

Yesterday we went shopping in Totnes and on the way home, called in on someone who said they’d got a spare cat mint plant we could have, and when we brought it home and showed it to the kitties, they both expressed an interest in it, but soon got more interested in being fed! The person had said they would get really interested in it when it’s growing in the garden and has the sun on it, but it’s definitely better than the butterfly mint, that’s for sure.

A fun shopping day

Lovely fun shopping in Totnes and I got some new clothes in my favourite ethnic style. Click here for details. One or two things that I got:

Not a lot else has happened recently.

Here’s a kitty funny.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Shopping in Totnes

This morning, it being a really warm sunny spring day, my hubby suggested an outing. Apart from church, and the odd lunch out here and there, I have hardly been out for months, so we decided to go to Totnes to do some shopping and have lunch. It is one of my favourite places to shop, with all the ethnic and alternative (hippie!) shops at the top of town, so we started there and worked our way down.

I wasn’t going to buy any clothes… honest, I wasn’t, yer honour… but it’s a very hard temptation to resist in such a place! And my hubby didn’t help – there he was, encouraging me to buy stuff – and I ended up buying quite a few things, including a pair of dungarees which I was convinced made me look fat, but both my hubby and the lovely lady in the shop reassured me that that wasn’t the case!

Not getting out shopping except once in a blue moon, it’s fun to stock up when I get the opportunity, and not everything is easily obtained online because you can’t see it “in the flesh.” I stocked up on some make-up supplies at Superdrug at the bottom of town just before we departed to go home.

Here are my purchases.

Last summer I had to throw out two pairs of sandals because the soles had started to disintegrate and they were not repairable. I was really cross because I liked them both a lot, and the tops were absolutely fine. I am pleased to have got a new pair today, along with the other stuff.

The dungarees. I love the applique on the legs. Since my hubby was the one who persuaded me to buy these, he said he’d give them to me for my birthday!

A really pretty soft lacy top with ribbon embroidery decoration. It is double (lined), and looks really lovely on.

A pair of soft wide ethnic patchwork trousers. I find I can never have enough pairs of these.

Finally managed to find myself a plain black pair, which will be useful.

In that same shop, I treated myself to a beautiful Indian necklace with matching earrings.

New make-up.

Finally, an irresistible pair of purple felt slippers with gorgeous felt balls on them – I feel like adding some embroidery to those!

We also visited the wholefood shop and picked up a few bits and pieces, but the main reason for the visit was to give them my excess kefir grains which they were very grateful for last time. If I had thought ahead, I would have taken in my spare kombucha scobys too – I asked if they’d had any enquiries for those and she said yes, so next time my hubby is going, he said he’d drop them in for me. I don’t want them to go to waste, and like the kefir grains, being alive, they do grow and multiply!

Where we had lunch, they had a basket with several pieces of knitting in it, and a note saying they were knitting squares for blankets for charity, and if you wanted to do a bit while waiting for your meal, you were welcome to do so. I knitted three rows of one square! I thought this was a brilliant idea, and how great it would be if they introduced it into doctors’ waiting rooms etc. They said a lot of people would pick it up and do a bit, and it soon mounted up.

All in all, a very satisfactory day and a lot of fun. Nothing like a bit of retail therapy, especially after I’ve been poorly and stuck in the house. I so rarely go shopping so it’s a real treat – I think the last time I did any clothes shopping was last summer.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

WOYWW 509 Who Gives a Crap?

Shoshi’s back! – and no, that’s not my sentiment! It’s the name of the new loo paper I’ve just bought!

Who Gives a Crap Loo Paper

My lovely friend put me on to this. It’s an eco firm that produces loo paper without any plastic, unlike the supermarket stuff that always comes wrapped in plastic. It’s recycled, and they also make a different one out of bamboo. It is 3-ply and very, very soft, and has a smaller core and the whole roll is slightly larger than the standard supermarket ones, so you get more, and it’s also cheaper! So it’s win-win all round. I just love the pretty papers each roll comes wrapped in, and you can see that I have saved some – my friend originally told me about this because she thought I could use her wrappers, and I decided to follow it up. I thought the papers could be ironed and used in projects, or for wrapping small gifts, etc. I really recommend this loo paper.

Dealing with the firm was sheer pleasure. I had such a fun email from them when the informed me the parcel was on its way, complete with a tracking number. They said they knew how hard it was to remember boring long numbers, and included a link to a Youtube video by a man who has a memory technique to enable him to remember pi to 100 decimal places!! Lol!

Anyway… my first visit on WOYWW for quite a while, and I thought that even if I haven’t got a thing on the creative front to show you, I’d better come back on because I miss you all.

I’ve been working hard on lots of new material for the Bible study group, which involves a lot of online research which takes massive amounts of time, not to mention collating it all and preparing slides, and also I have just started the mammoth task of replacing every single photo on my 8-year-old blog after Google messed up and they all vanished. I am at last able to publish blog posts with photos again – at least until Google decides once more, in its high and mighty way, to change things and leave us in the lurch again… So far with the photo replacement exercise, working backwards, I’ve done all of December of last year, and have just started on November. My hubby worked out that if I did one week’s worth every day, I’d complete the job in about 1 year 2 months!!! Still, that’s better than my first estimate, which was another 8 years. Either way, I don’t trust Google not to mess up and lose them all again… Talk about painting the Forth Bridge.

I’m not sure when I’m going to get time to get back in the studio again. As usual, in between my busyness, I’ve been extremely tired and have had to rest. I’m progressing quite well with the purple spotty knitting but not enough progress to warrant another photo just yet!


A couple of the latest photos for you.

Sunning themselves on the cat tree.

02 On the Cat Tree 14-2-19

More hugs. They are a lazy lot. I wish I could sleep as much!

03 Lily with Arm Round Ruby 16-2-19

Ruby on my knitting bag.

05 Ruby on my Knitting Bag 22-2-19

We think my hubby has fixed the garden defences now. They have been out in the garden quite a lot, and seem to be requiring less supervision than before, although Ruby has her moments, looking for any possible avenue of escape, however small! Sometimes she forgets about it and is happy running around and playing with her sister. When the spring comes we are going to get several catmint plants and put them around the garden, which will give her an added incentive not to wander. What my mum used to do was make a cage around the plant with chicken wire, staked well into the ground, so that it could grow through the holes. If you don’t protect it, the cats will simply roll in it and rip it up and kill it off really quickly! It’s like a drug to them and they can’t get enough of it. Before she made the cage, Mum’s plant was reduced to one little stem with a single leaf.

Health Update

Since I was last on WOYWW, I have had a letter from the hospital in Exeter with an appointment for me to see another colorectal surgeon there in April – my surgeon here at Torbay Hospital said in December when I saw him that he would value the opinion of a colleague, and this has now been set up. I googled the man and he’s got a brilliant track record (I knew mine wouldn’t choose anyone less competent and excellent than himself!!) and he also looks very friendly and nice. I feel a lot better about everything now, and much less reluctant to go for further surgery if that’s what he advises. I am very pleased with the care and attention that I have received from the beginning, despite all the problems I’ve experienced.

Finally, a cat funny for you.

Mr Youtube

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