This and that, Friday style

Knitting: new design samples for mitten patterns.

Baking: no-knead wholemeal bread; recipe and method from The Quince Tree. I've been making three loaves at a time and freezing them; I haven't eaten bought bread at home for a couple of months.

Eating: 'tis the weather for making and eating homemade soup. A stewpack of veg for £1 makes a fair amount of soup.

Drinking: New York Breakfast and Ginger Spice teas from T2.

Music: mainly Daily Mixes  and my own playlists on Spotify.

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Listening

I listen to a lot of audiobooks; they're perfect listening while I work.  I have an Audible subscription and also download audiobooks from Brighton & Hove Libraries free BorrowBox service. There's list of this year's books (including physical books, e-books and audiobooks) on Pinterest.

This audiobook is my best non-fiction listen so far this year; it's an incredible story that sounds like a good spy novel but it's all true. 

 


In the pipeline...

I'm working on some new designs for fingerless mittens. I've swatched for this design several times already and I'm finally happy with how the stitch pattern, needle size and yarn work together.

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The yarn is Drops Baby Merino; a lovely soft sport weight yarn. I'm surprised how good the stitch definition is. More soon!


And another....

I hate the amount/style of betting adverts on the radio (I mainly listen to Planet Rock). The adverts are shouty and style betting as 'exciting', 'unmissable fun' and 'smart'. There's nothing smart about betting; it's how to get yourself in debt and the only people who get rich are bookmakers.

Cat

This tiny Victorian moneybox is my reminder never to bet; it's made from china and has a slot across the top which is chipped in several places. It belonged to my grandma who gave it to me when I left home in the Sixties to go to art school. She told me not to be tempted by betting on anything; her mum used to raid the moneybox when she'd run out of money to bet on horse racing, using a knife to slide out the coins, hence the chips.

Did she win bets and make her fortune? As you might expect, the answer is no.


A little rant

Long time no see!

I've decided to resurrect my blogging schedule after dallying with social media far too much lately. These days, Instagram is so full of adverts and pushy posts from people trying to sell their wares that it's become much less pleasurable to scroll through. I don't do Facebook and even Pinterest is getting to be much the same as Instagram - it's buy, buy, buy all the time.  I find that Twitter is still enjoyable as long as I don't read much in the way of comments.

I choose to pay for this blog so there are no adverts here. And there never will be.

I will, however, still show photos of my new designs and provide Ravelry links, but that's about it!


And here's another...

A new design, that is. It's been test-knitted and the pattern has just gone off for a final whizz over by my tech editor.

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The design is called Spirality, a cosy ribbed cowl long enough to go twice round your neck. Knitted in DK weight yarn, the pattern is due for release in a week or so. I have two more new designs in the pipeline; the first is finished and photographed and the second is still at the knitting stage. I'd better go and get on with it...


Took all of January

to feel completely recovered from the bout of flu. The last week or so I've felt really, really tired and had no energy at all. February has marked a shift and I'm much more like myself and back to designing.

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This design is Colifichet, a lacy wrap which is almost ready to launch on an unsuspecting world! I blocked it yesterday and it's almost dry and ready for photography. Once that's done, Colifichet will be for sale on Ravelry with my other designs. On the needles is another wrap design in a gorgeous shade of green:

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Back in the land of the living....

Well, I'm almost there after three weeks of flu. My hacking cough has gone, I no longer have a head full of cotton wool and food tastes like food instead of cardboard!

In other news, I'm working my way through all the Harry Potter audiobooks again. I've nearly finished Book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and  thoroughly enjoying them. Stephen Fry is a genius narrator and makes the books perfect knitting listening.

Two other things - I'm seriously delighted that the wonderful Def Leppard have released their back catalogue on Spotify (other streaming services are available...) and the new Magnum album sounds pretty good after a couple of listens. I love my music!


New Year's Day

I'm happy that it's the first day of a new year today. I find New Year's Eve difficult; I'm sad about the people I love who are no longer here and the evening turned into a bit of a misery wallow. I miss my dad at this time of year even though it's now 50 years since he died.

On to more positive thoughts. The first day of the year is like the blank page of a nice shiny notebook waiting for me to begin. I don't make resolutions any more (resolutions are inevitably broken = failure = beating myself up in my head) but this list did amuse me this morning.

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These are Woody Guthrie's New Year Resolutions for 1943 (image from @haymarketbooks on Twitter) and I shall endeavour to Stay Glad and Dream Good in 2018. 


Best of 2017, part three

Best music of 2017 was a difficult choice as so much good stuff came out during the year. In the end I went with these four: Hysteria/Def Leppard 30th Anniversary Remaster (and yes, I did get the box set in case you were wondering...); Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/Beatles 50th Anniversary Remix (sounds fresh, sparky and pretty damn wonderful); Rip It Up/Thunder; The Further Live Adventures of.../Down 'n' Outz.

I'm sad we lost Tom Petty (amongst others) this year; he was a brilliant live performer.

Looking forward to Lost on the Road to Eternity/Magnum (January 19) and Year of the Tiger/Myles Kennedy (March 9) and who knows what other musical goodies in 2018.


Best of 2017, part two

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My best nine posts on Instagram this year; lots of knitting as expected. From top left, Swallowtail Shawl for Steph, Celestarium blocking, Celestarium in progress, detail of my design Mysteria blocking, antique shisha embroidery from India hanging in my living room, Gudrun Johnston's Hansel blocking, Ashton Shawlette blocking, Malabrigo Sock in Fresco y Seco, my Find Your Fade shawl.

I'm @wibboswords on Instagram if you want to check me out....


Best of 2017, part one

Best audiobook of 2017 has to be The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, all 50 hours of it, even though I've read the book several times before. Ignore the rubbish cover, this is a wonderful retelling of the Arthurian legends and it's beautifully narrated. Oh, and I'd forgotten what a irritating drip Guinevere is. Honourable mention of 2017 goes to What Does This Button Do? written and read by Bruce Dickinson. I'm not an Iron Maiden fan but after hearing Mr D reading extracts on the radio I figured I would take a chance on the audiobook. Absolutely brilliant and very, very funny.

Best book of 2017 was any one of William Shaw's Breen and Tozer books, all set in 1960s London. I bought the first one, A Song from Dead Lips, after reading a review and liked it so much that I bought the rest of the series and read them straight after each other. Interesting characters and his take on 1960s London is spot on. I'm now waiting for his next book, Salt Lane (not in this series), due to be published in May 2018.