December 26, 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt:(

Eartha Kitt died yesterday,Christmas Day:( She was 81 and died after a battle with colon cancer. I love her music and thought she was the most wonderfully talented person.
I saw her live in London quite a few years ago when she was late sixties probably and her performance was electric.
Goodbye Eartha may your trip to the Summerlands be smooth and may you enjoy your time there. I'm sure all the men will be lined up to dance with you.

A new swift:))

Hope you all had a peaceful happy day with family and or friends. We did and came back home today.
Some fabulous gifts from all and sundry that were a delight but the following is my favourite.
Just look what the fabulous Mr Mog made for me.
It is a windmill swift and has a handle to enable you to either re skein from one swift to another , or to skein from a ball or cone of yarn. It is speedy and I am very lucky:)
Can you see Mr Mog's trademark on it?
Those interested form an orderly queue(VBG)

December 24, 2008

Festive fun to all and good health as well

A little post today to wish you all a happy festive season, whatever you celebrate:)
As we are now (just) past the shortest day and on our way towards spring I thought a few of Mr Mog's winter photos may be appropriate.

I love the blue colour that this picture has. It brings a touch of fantasy in a winter landscape and is completely un retouched.
Berries are always much in demand for our feathered family.
This picture was a reminder that amongst the bare trees there is still a touch of green. I'll interrupt here to say that whilst posting I can hear much chattering. I have my magpies on the roof, least 4 and I think there is a fifth flying around:)
Doesn't this picture draw you in? I (Amber) took this a couple of years ago at the bottom of Castle Howe near Keswick, very magical and although they can't be seen in the photo there were several deer there. It was just taken on my mobile phone through the car window as I didn't want to disturb the deer.
This was a winter haiku I did for a swap a few years ago using one of my photos.

Then a blog post wouldn't seem right without socks would it?
These are made in double knit blue faced Leicester that I dyed a few weeks ago. They are going to be a new year prize for someone on the blog.
Just need to come up with a contest now:)
Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog this past year and for every one's help,support and encouragement during my hospice year of socks.
Don't forget next years project is to be hats, scarves and fingerless gloves.
I've already had donations including the fabulous book Wee Woolly toppers donated by Woolly Wormhead.
It has been great to meet up with so many of you and put faces to names. Here's to more of that in the new year.

December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice everyone, I hope your day is full of cheer and not too fraught.
We started our celebrations yesterday when the Bears came visiting. Much more joyous to celebrate with friends. After all in olden days it was the excuse for a party and feasting. We shared lots of good food and the most delicious mulled cordial that Ursula had found.
There was exchanging of gifts also and because we mogs celebrate each and every occasion we can it seemed only correct to open said gifts.
Firstly however Ursula and I did a trade, one of Mr Mog's upright swifts for 2 of Ursula's fabulous bags.
This one is multi pocketed and ideal for not just knitting but the other things you need to take with you on your travels. Very capacious and ideal for me. Notice the cats and the people. Also what you can't see is that Ursula made each trim a different colour to reflect my love of bright mismatched things:)

Here you see it together with the sock knitting bag, this matches perfectly and is ideal for travelling socks. The link is above if you too want your own bags in fabulous fabrics.
Then, as I previously mentioned, there were gifts.
Ursula dyed yarn especially for Mr Mog and I for socks and thoughtfully made sure it was DK so I am able to enjoy the knitting. Mr Mog has the oranges, mine is the lilac combos. Very yummy and very very soft to the touch. Also in the picture is a slate house number that Papa Bear made for us, much much nicer than the plastic numeral that presently adorns the side of the house and much easier for visitors to see. But look at the top of the picture, Moggs for the mogs(VBG)
Could anything have been more perfect? Thank you Mr & Mrs Bear and may the light that burns today grow ever stronger and brighter for you both.

Then I've some finished knitting to show you.
Fingerless gloves in the aran I dyed. Yes I know the pattern changes at the top, that was deliberate.
The ruffle matches the neck warmer ruffle and I am very pleased with them both. Ideal for this weather and not having full gloves means I can feel my crutches.
On this shortest day, longest night may I wish you all love, joy and abundance within your lives.

December 17, 2008

Roll on new year

Not long been out of bed and I feel terrible.
Yesterday we went to Ikea in Warrington to meet a blogger friend, then into Preston for some last minute shopping by Mr Mog.
Ikea was extremely frighteningly quiet, apparently it is at this time of year. All to the good you might say and indeed it was. I managed to get around without being jostled or people tripping over the crutches and then giving me the look as if it was my fault they were so clumsy. We got what we went for, more tealights for us and friends, rugs and lamp for my son who has just moved into his first proper home. Trouble is that to get the tealights entailed going in to the candle department. The smell of the artificial fragrances was overpowering. Could be that the lack of people concentrated the smell there, who knows. But for me a nightmare, it sets off my asthma, gives me headaches and downright knocks me for six.
Then after a bite to eat off to Preston. Our friend has a delightful new age/gift shop on the outskirts of the city and I love visiting her, we are very close. Trouble is that she also sells candles and smellies. After an hour we left to go into town and I was even more low.
Still the thought of Mr Mog just having to go into Lush helped. I knew i didn't need to . I decided to check out Primark, what a mistake. I left Mr Mog at the door arranging to meet him soon as he had shopped. What I hadn't realised was - there were 2 doors. I was pushed around and overwhelmed by the smells and frankly the negative desperation I felt from those around. Consumerism gone crazy. I wished I hadn't gone in. I couldn't find Mr Mog and for the first time in many a while I started with a panic attack. Finally I found a second door and he was waiting there for me. I can't tell you how happy I was.
Now normally i keep barriers up when I go into crowded places it is second nature to keep away the psychic vampires ( as my nanny was wont to say).
For some reason I had apparently let them slip and all this negativity and christmas shoppers hit home. I just about got home and then felt as if I was having a very bad flu attack. Shivery sick and not at all well. Early bed still feeling sick.
This morning I got up very late and had dry toast with a little honey together with fennel tea.
I'm much better now but steamrollered. No more crowds and shops for this moggie til after new year.
Some relaxation amongst the woods and I'll recover my equilibrium.

December 15, 2008

Neckwarmer mark 2, femmes awaiting homes

I've been playing with the design for the neck warmer I showed you the other day and I really quite like this version. It is very hard to show it properly, light is bad and it doesn't lend itself to close photographs, despite Lydia's help.
I have made a ruffled top as well as the more ruffled bottom edge.

What you can't see is that there is a row of holes at the top edge also, I intend to thread a velvet ribbon in this. Very Elizabethan:)

You may just see the holes in this picture above.

Then I thought you might like to see the femmes that are still awaiting homes. I'm offering a special price for each including postage. Email me if you are interested.

Luciana is named for the goddess of fate and luck and in her honour she wears the dice. Lady Luck rolls the ways of chance and fortune for us. She also wears the dice to remind us that we can choose our own road and we are not just dependant on the winds of change. A dice has many sides and we have many paths to choose from. Cats throughout time have been symbols of luck, especially black ones. The star is a symbol of what we can aim for.
Mara carries hope and forgiveness. We have to try new paths sometimes and she goes with us to show the way. There is no right or wrong path, just what suits us.
Mayamei is of the earth and more at home in forests where she blends in easily. She brings strength to new ventures. The bees tell us that sometimes there is strength in numbers. In past times green was the colour for luck and for protection on new ventures.
Serephina holds traces of Autumns glory, shown here by the oak leaf on her dress. She is a true fire or sun goddess. The bee and bee hive represent the sweetness of life and bees are a part of the great mystery in the way they journey to find pollen and return safely to the hive. The sun she wears is a foreseeing of the turn of the year at Yule and the return to the light and the warmth. Serephina brings hope,joy and fruition with her.

This femme is Tailtiu,named after the Irish goddess,foster mother of Lugh. Wearing a cloak, could it be the Winter weather do you think?

The weather here is freezing and I haven't been far all weekend as I've been in a lot of pain. We have quite a busy week planned, a trip to meet a friend at Ikea tomorrow, A meal with Mr Mog's aged parent and his sister on Friday up in cumbria. Sunday we are looking after our 2 grandsons over night while my daughter and her partner take his parents away to posh hotel for dinner and B&B. My DD has a suite with an outside jacuzzi on the roo top balcony. They are welcome in this weather:)
Yule is looming ever closer and I have mostly finished gift making I think.

December 13, 2008

Warming necks and cactus flowers

I've been knitting up some of the (what was) smelly aran I dyed. It smells much better now,
very much of lavender.I think that is quite appropriate looking at how it has knit up. Pattern is my own and I love the ruffles at the bottom don't you?

Quick knit and I'm going to do another later with a different yarn.
At the moment we are in the middle of cactus flowering season. One has just finished in a mid pink and 2 have just started.
This beauty however is in full flower and I thought you would like to see it. The flower reminds me of a pagoda roof. This was a cutting I took earlier this year and is different in colour to the parent plant. It will be interesting to see how the other cutting looks when it too flowers. I'm so pleased they decided to stagger their flowering for us.
Today is very dark and dismal and I am in a lot of pain. My son is moving from his caravan to a maisonette this afternoon and Mr Mog has had to go without me to help the move along. My daughter will be there as well so it shouldn't be too bad,fingers crossed.
Thanks for the suggestions on laptops. It has to be a laptop as opposed to a notebook because the screen is too small for Mr Mog to see comfortably and also it doesn't normally have a cd drive. This is essential for him to put photos on, view photos he has already taken etc. A pen drive isn't the same for him. He is relatively new to computing and I don't want him to be put off by screen size.

December 12, 2008

laptop purchase help needed

Help needed please. Our laptop has died and Mr Mog is bereft to say the least as he has really enjoyed learning to use the computer over past 12 months. It was a boon during his radiotherapy. etc.
Where can I get hold of a new one cheaply please? Haven't got much in funds but really want to try and get him up and running again. It needs to be able to go online and that is about all
thanks for help

My first SP gift came and moebius in blue

My first SP gift for this round arrived today and just look what I received:)
I must have a go at one of the shawls with the beautiful yarn in my favourite colours:) Thank you SP

I've seen some gorgeous patterns in the book already, soon as Yule is over I'll make a start. I really appreciate the lovely gifts you sent.
I made a cowl for a gift in what appears to be lopi wool, singles possibly? I got this skein a couple of years ago at a charity shop and it has been sitting in the stash waiting to be knit up. It has made a really warm and cosy moebius.
It is freezing here and damp. I'm very sore my knees don't want to work at all despite increasing my painkiller intake. What with that and the bad hands it is a sad moggie you see before you. Yule making goes on at a great pace, Mr mog is out in the shed finishing off youngest grandson's gift which is a bowling /skittle/marble alley. I'm debating socks or fingerless gloves.

December 09, 2008

Of femmes and socks.

I've been making some femmes for gifts. Hope you like them:)
This is Modron, she is named after a Welsh goddess. Modron is a mother goddess in Welsh tales.

She decided she would like a cloak instead of a dress and here you see the back of it.

This femme is Tailtiu,named after the Irish goddess,foster mother of Lugh. Also wearing a cloak, could it be the Winter weather do you think?

This femme is called Aradia after the Italian goddess of the same name, who supposedly came to Earth to teach the witches her mother's magic. Back view only as she was rather proud of her cloak:)
Befana is also named after an Italian Goddess. Befana supposedly flies on her broomstick during 12th night bringing gifts down chimneys:)
She also has a goat totem.

Belisima is named in honour of the Goddess she carries elements of both fire and water. she is associated with domestic craft such as spinning,weaving.

Brigindo is named in honour of Brigid, Goddess of fire, fertility and the hearth, she is linked with all feminine arts and crafts and animal husbandry to name but a few of her aspects.

She loves her red shoes.

I finished a pair of socks as well. Yet another Yule gift.

December 07, 2008

Knitting and dyeing results, femme update

I have been both knitting and dyeing.
The sock you see below is a mixture .Colinette jitterbug given to me by Artis Anne and Great Adirondack Yarn Co soxie.
I am not able to knit with 4 ply at the moment as my hands can't feel the yarn so a mix of 2 = DK = usable.

I love the rich colour mix and it makes a very warm sock.
The beauty of DK is that it knits up quickly as well.
Then I did some dyeing and with this there was some success and a failure.
Here they all are on the washing line, mainly bright but with one dour exception.
This was supposed to be 100% wool aran. I dyed it with vivid lime, deep purple and a little charcoal. It stunk to high heaven while being soaked prior to dyeing and even worse when it was in the dye pot. Imagine perming solution mixed with sulphur and manure, that was a little like the smell chez moggies. The only reason there is some colour in it(the purple blotches) is that I added some procion powder to the pot. The dyes I used were concentrated as you can see from the other skeins. This yarn STILL stinks even though it is now dry. What a waste of 300gm:(

This is 100% wool DK from a charity shop.50gms I have a few balls of this. The Laal Bear brought her windmill skein for a visit and we skeined 2 balls to try it out. This is Cerulean blue and vivid lime with a tiny amount of charcoal. I love this colourway.
This is the other 50gm dyed bright orange, vivid emerald and charcoal. So zingy and not enough for a pair of socks unfortunately. This colourway will be done again:)
100% BFL DK, cerulean blue and scarlet. weaker solution as I wanted a more muted colourway. 100gms so enough for socks.
Also BFL DK, acid lemon, buttercup yellow and cerulean blue. Vibrant in a muted sort of way:)
The 5 together. The aran looks a little better here but still disappointing. Someone suggested it may have been bleached with hydrogen peroxide to whiten it. This would account for both the smell and the inability to take dye.
I've had a couple of emails about the yule femmes. If you check out my Nov 19th post you will see them all. The ones left waiting for new homes are:-

December 05, 2008

Socks and delightful tree ornaments

It is freezing again today but the sun helps to brighten the day. We have had a trip along to the next town for some shopping. We called in the charity shop to donate 2 Wedgwood plates for them to sell
While there I had to have a look at what was in of course:)
We came away with 2 teddies, one a jaunty looking character in pants
Just look at that face:)
second one still had his tags on
Total for both bears £1, yes just 50p each. I don't know why I had to have them, not something I normally collect, I think that Laal Bear person might have had something to do with it.
anyway enough of the sentimentality, I've finished a pair of socks. I deliberately made them different as I love to wear unconventional things and I know the recipient is a little that way inclined as well.

As I mentioned the other day we went for lunch with the Bears, I picked out a couple of yule tree gifts for my grandsons and Mr Mog and I thought we better have one also.
Mr Mog chose the snowman who he thinks is female from the face:). I chose a tree.. Aren't they sweet? If you are in this country they can be purchased from the Laal Bear, she has a few different styles.

Poetry for Brigid Imbolc

  The Lake Isle of Innisfree BY  WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay a...