January 30, 2010

5th annual Cyberspace poetry slam for Brigid

It is that time again:)
As per Deborah Oak

Feel free to copy the following to your blog/facebook/website and spread
the word. Let poetry bless the blogosphere once again

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2010

WHERE: Your blog

WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day

HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to
post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on
this post. Last year when the call went out there was more poetry in
cyberspace than I could keep track of. So, link to whoever you hear
about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

Please pass this invitation on


I'll be participating will you?

Of full moons and mystery

Yesterday was the full moon and what a moon it was.
We were in Cumbria visiting the aged parent and began the journey home just before sunset. We were coming back to the motorway over the hills and saw the sunset in all its technicolour glory.

Impossible to take pictures of it as firstly it was far too bright, secondly too busy and thirdly it was one of those views that were to be treasured but not captured. Do you know what I mean?
Sometimes it is great to take lots of photos of the sky and sometimes they are almost uncapturable if there is such a word.

A sacred experience to be appreciated on more than 1 level.

But the moon I did try to photograph, not very successfully I am afraid. When she first rose above Caldbeck fell she was so large and so pale it took me quite by surprise. As our journey continued she became more silvery and more beautiful by the moment.

The sky was tinted lilac around her and it was incredibly cold up there on the fell road.
We could almost touch her it seemed, save for the constant traffic speeding past us unaware of the beauty of the dusk.
How could you miss this?
Or indeed this with the snow coating the distant peaks of the Pennines.
The moon lit our way home as the sky darkened and the next pictures were as we arrived safely chez moggie.

I never tire of the moon in all her phases, they all speak to the inner child, encouraging and protecting. Giving me the courage to create and to enjoy each day what ever it brings.

A new Goddess figure came into our home recently.
She calls herself Maiaa Gaiaa. Why I don't know but no doubt the answer will make itself clear sometime. As soon as I saw her the name came into my mind so may I present Maiaa Gaiaa?

We found her in our local charity shop where she was standing on a shelf awaiting a new home.
A few, very few, of her beads are missing otherwise she is perfect as you can see.
She measures approx 18 inches high and carries an air of reassurance and protection.She looks as if she has always been here.
I am very pleased that the tiny amount of damage meant someone sent her on her way to a new home.
I will repair the little damage and she will be as good as new.

January 28, 2010

Today was bl00dy

Today I tried to amputate my finger.
Not intentionally I hasten to add.
I wanted to chop some garlic and the skin was tough to say the least. The garlic bounced and the knife cut into the side of my finger by the nail bed:( Extremely painful.
I thought I had got away without blood but after some seconds it started to well up.
Not easy to type with plaster on.
I've been knitting on something new the past few days, a neck warmer that reminds me of a Victorian collar.
All my own handspun:)
Pictures when it is finished.
Tomorrow we go up to visit the aged parent and see how she is doing. I am hopeful that the doctors will have done a mental assessment and that we can move towards getting her into a care home. Somewhere she will have constant care and where she won't be rattling round in a large house with steep stairs.

Spinning is going well, I am still spinning 4ply to DK weight yarn. Haven't tried to spin finer yet as I can't see me wanting to knit laceweight.
Neither have I tried to spin thicker yet, that I do want to do as I prefer thicker yarn for knitting with.

January 27, 2010

Today the sky smiled

It started out a grey dark mizzly day with intermittent rain. I saw no end to it even at 3 this afternoon.
But now, as the clock strikes 5pm, the sky is transformed.
Indigo blue with bands of red and vivid orange shading to gold.Some highlights of crimson, scarlet and magenta. The moon has risen and she shines down upon the beauty of the evening display.
I feel a lifting of tension, a lightening of worry. A giddy feeling occasioned by this simple pleasure of looking through the window.
Such colours I could never hope to reproduce with dye and fibre but I'll try some day as a shawl shaded dusk with moon highlights would be beautiful.
A magical shawl to take you into the night, to warm and encourage all endeavours.
A simple thing made from skies of mystery.
Who knows what magic could be made when wearing such a shawl? What places the mind could travel wrapped in threads of light and dark.
What energies could be spun within the yarn made from colours such as these?
To sit with coloured fluff and turn it into yarn so bright, so deep, so special.
As the wheel turns to twist the threads I need it twists in strands of stories not yet heard or seen.
A promise of a journey through landscapes new and old, seeing the path with eyes wide open.

Following a silver thread uncoiling before us as we walk.

The time at dusk and dawn is when the veil is thinnest. It is when we can glimpse the mysteries that lie all around us should we chose to see .

If only a fraction of these colours could be copied they would still bring all the magic with them.

January 26, 2010

aged parent problems:(

It has been an extremely harrowing couple of days for us.
Yesterday morning we had a call from MIL's carers they were worried becuase she had scorched some clothing drying in front of the fire and various other stuff. Forgot they were there.
We went up to try and find out what was happening and to help her.
She was extremely confused to say the least. House was unlocked, it was pitch black in the house and MIL was asleep, also the back door was wide open.
Fires in both living rooms on full.
Saw the doctor and no beds in local hospital but would be today.
Got her comfortable and sorted out then went to stay at friends for the night. MIL's house and facilities not suitable for us with steep stairs etc to bathroom and bedrooms. Not wanting to use commode either;(
Went back this morning thinking we would have fight to get her in hospital but she was very tearful and said "I think I am going to have to go to hospital." She was seeing figures that weren't there and telling long rambling tales of things that weren't happening:(
She is now ensconced in hospital, very happy watching tv in her little room.
Hospital are going to do a mental assessment as well as medical check ups and we are going to make sure that this time they do not let her go back to a dangerous environment.
I must just tell you social workers comments yesterday when I rang her to explain about the scorching clothes, bear in mind here that MIL has fire alarms around the place and they are checked by fire service, social worker thought it would solve any problems if she arranged for more fire alarms.
I think she soon realised from my response that that wasn't the answer:)

Why is it that we have to fight so much to get help for our elderly? The doctor was very helpful but the social services have ALWAYS passed the buck back to us and don't want to know.
Poor Mr Mog has been really worried as you can imagine. I have but of course being that one step distant from MIL meant I had no problem with haranguing the appropriate bodies to get her help
Shame I had to though and that it wasn't forthcoming otherwise.

January 19, 2010

A week is a long time in nature

A week is a very long time in nature. Or it can be.

You remember the pictures I posted last week of the park full of snow? This was the scene on Sunday when we ventured there once more.
Not a drop of snow or ice to be seen thankfully,leaving it clear for walkers, wheelchairs and the little ones in prams.

Lots of new growth on trees and shrubs.

It is surprising how much growth when you think of all the snow we have had and the very cold temperatures.
Doesn't stop Lady Nature from doing her stuff. Just look at these buddleia sprouting.
New buds everywhere we looked.

If you look closely at the picture below it shows a tiny mouse hole, the reason I saw it was that we heard the rustling and when we glanced down there was the entrance to the mouse's den. Mr Mog left him some food and then we left quietly so as not to disturb him any more.
The view through the tree branches is much nicer now that the buds are coming through.
Then I have some more knitting to show you.
Another Felicity hat, this one is for me. A mixture of one thread of mohair and 1 dk unknown.
Very warm and almost felted, perfect for this time of year.
I used needles a little smaller than necessary to get a very close knit fabric. Nowhere for the draughts to get through.
I'm finally getting a new mobile phone. The one I have is ancient and is giving up the ghost. It doesn't keep a charge any longer and the cost for a new battery is more than a new phone costs. The new one is one of the touch screen ones, unlike the old one which has a flip top to keep the screen safe. Why have they stopped making these? Far safer to have a cover surely?
I digress. As it is a nude screen I thought it ought to have some kind of protection, and to keep it warm in the cold weather:)
I used the remains of the hat yarn to knit a phone cosy. The yarn cord is to help find it in the depths of my bag.
Spinning is great fun and I don't think I've shown you these finished yarns.

Firstly Falkland tops in Woodland colourway from Mandacrafts. This is organic green yarn, grown with no pesticides, chemicals or the like which I heartily approve of. This is my first attempt at Navajo plying to keep the colours true. Not easy to do but worth trying. 2 skeins 100g in total. No idea on yardage as the yarn measure didn't cooperate while skeining this.
This is my Yule gift from Laal Bear. 100gm of Bluefaced Leicester. 178yards. Luscious colours.
This is Lime Green Jelly bluefaced Leicester from a ravelry destash. 100gm 214yards. Lovely colour , unfortunately the destasher omitted to mention she stored her fibre in moth balls. Not good for an asthmatic and despite washing, conditioning it still has a residual smell. Methinks I need to ask how fibre is stored if I do this again.

Several people have asked if I am accepting donations for this fourth year of hospice knitting, yes I am thank you:) If you would like to donate fibre for my project it will be very gratefully received. Just fibre this year thank you as I intend to spin and knit each item for the hospice.

January 15, 2010

First lambs of 2010

We have been staying at our daughters for a couple of days and yesterday while driving back to her house we saw our first lambs of this year. They looked to be a few days old and looking very sorry for themselves with the freezing weather.
It seems they start to arrive earlier and earlier each year:(
Pain is subsiding a little thankfully, however it should be as it is 2 weeks tomorrow since the fall.
Spinning is slow, knitting equally so, roll on warmer days.

January 12, 2010

Creativity, inspiration and distractions

At our guild meeting in November we were all handed a bag of merino fibre in various colours and told to take it away and create something with it. It could be just spun, felted, knitted, crocheted or what ever we wished to do with it.
I haven't had a very good relationship with pure merino so far, it has tended to run away with me and I haven't enjoyed spinning it at all. In fact the first skein I spun was so dreadful I made art yarn by adding a glitter thread to it.
The intention was to make a femme as my challenge answer.

As we all know plans can be changed and indeed often are.

I didn't want to give in so a few weeks ago I had another go at spinning the stuff. The colours were lilac, a mid green, 2 shades of yellow and 2 shades of blue.

I decided not to plan but to take random clumps of fibre and spin them, no colour scheme in mind. I wanted to go with the flow and I hoped that doing so would appease the powers that be and they would let it magically turn to yarn on my wheel.
Well they did and it did.

I then had to decide what to knit with it and came up with 2 items I've knitted before. One old, one new.
Firstly Calorimetry, I've made quite a few of these and it is an easy fairly quick knit. I made a smallish one as the yarn I spun was a double knit weight. It will fit a teen I would think. It just needs a button for decoration now.

Then, as it is a spinning group, I thought another felted bag for the bits of fluff and vegetable matter would be in order. This bag will hang on the tension knob of the wheel and is perfect for those odds and ends you don't want to incorporate in your yarn.
What do you think?

I've also been knitting my first item this year for the hospice. I wanted to use hand spun and obviously smaller projects will be easier, in the main, although I am not ruling out making larger items for them. No sense being definite about it we all know where that gets us. Loki is never far away when I make promises.
This is my fallow fields Felicity hat, pattern from Ravelry, BFL yarn hand dyed and hand spun by me.
How do you like my new modelling head? It is pot and cost under £4.

Back view of the hat. This photographing under electric light doesn't give the true colours sadly. Hat is very warm and soft.

I liked it so much I made one for me. This is my purple hand spun from a few weeks ago,the fibre is Falkland tops from Mandacrafts.
I decided I wanted a wee bit larger hat for my head and wanted it warm for this icy weather. I added a strand of a very fine commercial mohair to the mix.
It almost feels felted and is very warm.
I'm still in a great deal of pain, the bruising may have faded but the pain certainly hasn't yet. I'm not the most patient of people and this constant pain is a distraction to say the least.
It doesn't help that the weather isn't fit yet for going out. I'm longing for a thaw and some sunshine to enable me to get in to the park at the very least.

January 08, 2010

and still the land is white

And still the land is white and the frost and ice grow deeper and harder by the minute.
It hasn't thawed at all around us but we do at least have the main roads clear which is a bonus.

We managed to get out today for some much needed fresh air especially in my case. We went to the local park.
As you will be able to tell from these pictures it is a winter wonderland.
Always seems strange to me to see the seaside so white, normally the salty sea air keeps the snow away or melts it speedily.
Despite the heavy snow there are signs that the lady is wakening from her winter sleep. These catkins danced in the frosty air.
On some trees you couldn't see if there were buds or not. Just snow, more snow.
We took food for the creatures of the park, they still need to eat. We melted some suet and added various seeds and some bird crumble mix we were given for Yule, poured it into ramekins that were lined with cling film. Mr Mog placed these on the front step while we had breakfast and by the time we were ready to go to the park they were firm and cold. The smaller birds will appreciate these. We also took monkey nuts (peanuts in their shells) and sunflower seeds for the squirrels and larger birds.
The ponds were well frozen and no sign of the ducks.
There had been a few creatures walking across the ice though as you can see:)
It would appear that the forecast is for more of the same this weekend (sigh)

I can't see us getting very far at all. But as long as I can get out to the park at least then it is enough to quash the cabin fever:)
To be honest when it looks as beautiful as this then the park is perfect for us. It gives fresh air, beauty and a sense of well being from the sights and sounds.
When the country seems to be held to ransom by extreme weather it does make you realise that the Goddess and her consort are not averse to showing their power after all. We are but a part of the land, not the main reason for it and this shows us so.
Man may think he is clever but the Lady Nature is far superior to him:)
Not many people about either, mainly dog walkers and one party of toddlers and their carers, I suspect from a nursery.
I do love the peaceful scenes of nature's beauty, untouched by us.
Winter wonderland indeed.
There has been knitting at the Moggie household. I wanted to make Mr Mog some more socks as several pairs of his are wearing out fast. Sadly much as I love hand dyed yarn unless it has added nylon or mohair or acrylic then socks wear out much more speedily than commercial ones.
These hopefully won't because (gasp) the yarn was an acrylic, mohair,wool mix.
It seemed only right to photograph them against the snow outside.
Do you like?

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...