Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In which the Fridge happened...

This is going to be a post of pictures, and it's late, so sorry for the brief captions. Perhaps I'll have time for a wordy post soon, who knows?

Firstly, just to be normal, some yarn.

This is some Touchyarn laceweight which I've had for a couple of years, just waiting for the right project. It's gorgeous - lovely jewel colours in the skein, glossy when wound.

Yum! Perfect for a Bitterroot scarf, I thought.

Hmm. Perhaps not.

It just looks like a tangled mess and you can't see any of the pattern in there. I is having a rethink.

In other news, the fridge arrived.

That was as far as it got. Interesting trying to get in the front door when I got home.

So that's where it stayed for a couple of days, until people came visiting. Looking all mean and brooding, and then slightly self-conscious, and then rather put-out.
Brother and Brother-in-Law and The Man managed to unpack it and manhandle it into the kitchen.

BIL and The Man judging the space. (You can just see The Man's fingers, he's the one behind the fridge.)

Result!! It fits! Shock and amazement!!

Good job.

It's a monster.

The most entertaining thing is this:

..turns to this:

Due to this:

Are they kidding? A monster fridge powersaving by turning off six tiny LED lights on the front panel?? Seriously, that's the least of its worries.

Following a trip to Ikea on Sunday, the craft room had turned into this:

A desktop, a box with a flatpack chair in it, assorted other bits and storage and table and bags of stuff. A Mess, oh yes.

Several hours later it looked more like this:

Reusing some shelves left by vendors but these will be upgraded:

Some fabric from the stash, now amalgamated and easy to view.

Tidy cupboard with see through storage boxes (need more of them I think).

And finally, I am apparently starting to turn into a granny. Not only knitting but also this:

The Rolls Royce of shopping trolleys, oh yes. Raised eyebrows all round, as well as a vow never to be seen with me if I'm using it, let along take it for a spin himself. Hee hee, can you see The Man wheeling that back from Sainsbury's?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All change

First of all, some knitting. Since finishing that baby blanket I've been rather more productive! This Ishbel was started on Boxing day and finished on 12 Jan. It was just enough knitting for me, being the small neckwarmer size rather than the large shawl. My first lace shawl, first time blocking a scalloped edge, really quite smug with myself. :)

Here is a compare between how it was when finished knitting...

....and how is turned out after blocking.

Like wings!

I also did a Star Crossed Beret for mum, who has an ancient one from the 70s which she wears around the farm in the cold. It's rather thin and weary looking, so hopefully this will be an OK alternative for her.

I love how the random cables look sort of like tree bark. It's done in Rowan Cocoon yarn which is lovely and soft, bouncy and drapy at the same time.
So, now we're up to date on the knitting what about the other stuff? Well, we moved house. It went through very quickly, luckily - we viewed in November and moved on 11 Jan. It's been a bit of a culture shock, going from a one and a half bedroom flat into a 4 bed townhouse - lots of rooms which we don't know what to do with, a bathroom each, a garage for junk, two flights of stairs... my legs are going to get more toned! Not least because we've not sorted everything out yet and whatever I need is usually at the other end of the house...
Best of all though, because we have so much space at the moment, I can have a craft room.

So far the only storage I have is what the old owner left behind (yeah thanks for leaving your crappy shelving unit) but I'll gradually get this all usefully arranged I'm sure. I've already scoped out a big L shaped corner desk from Ikea for a starting point, and The Man's mum has mentioned a big dresser which she used to have in her kitchen but since she upgraded it she's just kept in her garage. She's just as keen for me to have a fully functional craft room as I am! (It's possible since she now has a key I may come home to find her in it quite often.) It will be wonderful to have everything get-at-able. I aspire to having one of those workspaces they feature on home and lifestyle blogs, with useful shelves in the right places and chi-chi pots for your pens and paint brushes. Hey ho.

Here is a new house / new table combo pic. This new (old) table is rather orange because it's in the process of being 'revived', having been in the barn at home for several months waiting for a new home.

It's been given a drink of a woodworm treatment shooter followed by a beeswax and noxious solvents cocktail. In two days we are allowed to buff it to a sheen. Meantime hopefully it will have absorbed what it needs and the solvents will have evaporated and it will go back to a sensible colour. It has started to already so I should really trust my (furniture restorer) brother not to leave me with a tangerine table.

Here is some old woodworm damage - love the crazy pattern. I think it looks a bit like that tubes screensaver they used to have on Windows 97.

Yesterday we had our washing machine delivered. The Man's plumber mate is on hols so we thought we'd plumb it in ourselves. How hard can it be? There's an instruction manual and everything.

Just in case, we put a washing up bowl underneath to catch any drips for the first cycle.

Ahem. Yes, well. This has now been rectified.

All this house roaming fetching things from upstairs when they're needed downstairs is just as well, I had a serious gym session with my trainer yesterday and I hurt in strange places, and if I sat down for too long I think I'd cease up. Balls of my thumbs? I presume it's due to having my first session of pad boxing, which is much more fun than ten minutes on the cross trainer.
It's taken a while but I'm starting to get into the mindset that not everything in this house needs to be done immediately, which is quite a new thing for a child of the Now generation like me. It's lovely just doing a little chunk at a time, and thinking that we can write a list and cross things off slowly. It's also lovely watching The Man getting to grips with my power drill. Hee hee. He's somewhat of a DIY virgin but seems keen so far, which is ace. There'll be plenty of just-jobs* in the next few years I'm sure.
Since Friday though he's been very happy because the Sky man came and made Sport happen again (or indeed any telly, we've been surviving on DVDs), so now we have golf / cricket / football in HD on the big flat telly, and on Saturday his mates appeared to sort out the surround sound, so we also have Kef eggs (this is a technical term apparently) around the room and disconcerting noises coming from under chairs and in the bookcases. I have to plead to being terribly girly and being happy with the telly not set to HD and with its own speakers, but apparently I'm being a Philistine and Must Not Utter words like that.
Finally, hurrah for being able to see the roads again and them not being white and skiddy, but some doom-mongerer said the other day that we might be due one or two more snow snaps this year. Noooo! I've already had six (yes, six) days when I couldn't get into work because the trains weren't running, enough is enough!
* Can you just...?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Here follows a lesson in why you should not do anything more complicated than a stocking stitch square at knit group:

Can you see the problem?

Click on the pic to view in its full glory. This is also a lesson in making sure you pick up the same number of stitches going up as coming down. Buggrit.

This is Helena and is normally really cute, if you do the neck band according to the pattern. I read the instructions about counting section 1 to flange B, section 2 to the left armpit intersection, place marker and knit to section 22(a) subclause viii, and thought stuff it. Ha, said the pattern, you fool! So now one side has not enough stitches and pulls up, and the other has way too many and hangs down. Clearly at some point my fingers defrosted and the hot chocolate kicked in and my picking up rate changed. Yeah yeah, excuses...

This will be fixed, oh yes.

I must also share with you this:

A mutant got through the unigrape scanner. Check out this monster!

It was like three or four grapes had grown together and formed one super grape, about to Take Over The World, I tell you!!!!

The Man ate it. With great relish.

(He'd offered it to me but I was too scared. )

Monday, January 04, 2010

Moving junk

Oooo, I slept on my neck funny last night and it’s just getting worse and worse.

Back at work. I have sooooo much to do at home, but here I am twiddling my thumbs in the office. Do people who work from home do this? Sit at their laptop and think they can’t possibly just nip out and put a wash on? I think not. But, there may be another snow day in the offing if the BBC weather service is to be believed so perhaps I can be more productive than I think.

Things to do this week:

Pack up the entire flat – this will hopefully involve a lot of throwing away too
Eat as much as possible of the contents of the fridge and freezer
Minimise the laundry situation
Do the rest of the recycling and drop offs to the charity shops
Order a washing machine and (depending on the vendor accepting our offer for their old one) a fridge/freezer
Send off three parcels for presents for people (two to the States) (and possibly four if I finish the latest knitting project in time)
Read the meters

Things to do after we move:

Read meters and call utilities people
Call BT and have longwinded and ultimately futile conversation about (lack of) moving broadband over
Call Sky likewise re telly reception*
Unpack contents of flat
Take delivery of new TV**, washing machine and possibly fridge/freezer
Get Sky man in to fit new dish and gubbins for sky multiroom
Take a trip in a van to The Man’s mum’s house to pick up a load more stuff
Take a trip in a van to my mum’s house to pick up a load more stuff
Take a trip to the physio to fix my back
Get someone in to plaster over the artex ceiling in the sitting room (why? WHY???)
Sit down and have a well-earned drink (or six)

* I called Sky last week to inform them of change of address and get man booked in to install new dish etc, and they still had our old address because some mouth-breather had put our last moving date in as 2088, not 2008, and not ticked a box somewhere. So of course as 2088 has not come along yet the system still thinks we’re at the old address, and as it’s over a year later the call centre can’t amend the record, they have to ask Sky IT to do it, and apparently that could take up to 30 days. Allrighty.

**Ah, the new TV. One of The Man’s mates came along to help us decide, as he knows all about Making A Noise with sound systems. With the voice of ages, as we walked past Fenwicks’ sale and viewed the bunfight inside, he said, ‘Ah, loads of people spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.’ True, very true, we thought sagely, heading into the Sound and Vision store to drop a couple of thou with the pimply salesman. I think the irony was lost on the boys. Clearly big TVs and fancy dan speakers fall into the ‘Life’s Essentials’ category.

The parents, like parents the world over I’m sure, are overjoyed at the prospect of ‘getting their houses back’ when we move as we’ll have space for all the stuff we’ve been storing in respective parents’ houses for years. Ha, misguided fools. They said that when we (generic, universal ‘we’) went away to uni, they said that when we left uni to get Proper Jobs, they said that when we moved again, always hoping, hoping, that one day the junk would find another home. When will they learn it will never happen? We take what junk we need and leave the rest, which gradually accumulates and accumulates, merging with our siblings’ junk and more parental junk until, basically, the attic floor gives way.

After the wedding I’m going to hire a skip and one of those dustbin chute things and go up into the attic with my parents and throw away all the crapola that is never used and often tripped over. There are strings of lilac fairy lights from my brother’s wedding five years ago, a BBC Acorn computer, broken chairs, old clothes (lots of old clothes), ancient tapes and CDs, old mattresses, a broken easel, baby toys, a model ship, zillions of crappy books no one is the least bit interested in, nasty pictures, macrame plant holders, old files from the office, toy prams and tea services, fishing kit and just JUNK. Piles of it. Argh!! The trouble is this theme extends to other parts of the house, most notably the office. My flesh crawls walking into my parents’ office, and it’s not just an allergic reaction to the dust (a mixture of real dust, dried mud and clarts), pet hair and cobwebs. There can only be about 12 square inches of actual desk visible. The rest if covered by the PC, two printers, his’n’hers in trays, the desk diary, a phone/fax monster, and several mountains of sliding paperwork and magazines. The pen pot has one, maybe two pens which actually work, not one ever actually having been purchased but all having come free with vet drugs orders or wormer samples or seed catalogues. There is a pen holder in the shape of a hedgehog with a pencil sharpener nose which I remember being there when I was about seven years old, with the collected scunge of ages in the bottom. Ditto two other pen holders (yes, three pen holders and two working pens). There is a collection of rubber bands and paper clips and stamps held together by dust bunnies. The wall is papered with notes and phone numbers all of which are so faded they are nearly impossible to read. The wall shelves bow under the weight of long unused files. I daren’t ever open the desk drawers because if you actually look for anything and thereby rearrange the contents you never get them closed again.

Under the desk there is no room for actual feet. There are assorted boxes of cartridges, piles of jiffy bags (some reused and some new! Shock!) and other packaging, vast leaning towers of eggboxes, boxes the computer equipment came in (throw them away!! All you need is the paperwork!), some other stuff lurking at the back and The Bin. Now we are all supposed to be eco friendly the bin has become the Paper Recycling Bin, which basically means the same stuff goes in it but it gets emptied less often so there is a wire bin somewhere under another mountain of paper. All of the above is distributed among liberal amounts of dust and fluff and hair. Yum.

So you can see I can go either of two ways: either I’ll react against all this junk-keeping or I’ll bow to genetics. I know someone at work whose wife is a professional declutterer and if something in their house has not been used for a year (or if he’s not worn a particular shirt in three months) then it’s out. Scary. But, you can see why this could be a good thing. We do all indeed have loads of Stuff We Don’t Need which we’ve spent Money We Don’t Have on. I am getting better at realising when that pretty sparkly thing with 20% off (or ‘80% on’ as I read somewhere recently) is in fact just Something Else to Dust rather than a functional item that I need. I need to get better at doing a similar thing with clothes (getting better at remembering if I have one almost the same) and books (hopeless – books just have to come home with me). It will be interesting to see exactly how much junk I do own as opposed to things I need and use.

I am so glad we booked a removals man this time….