Wednesday, 28 February 2007

No knitting today, just eBay

I was going to post a picture of my latest project - a lace shawl but I was too tired to see properly last night and kept miscounting the stitches. I've had to unravel it this morning, I guess I'll make a new start on it later.

In the meantime, guess what I'm going to do today? I'm going to list some of that pile on eBay and see if anyone else would like it. All at 99p plus postage - BARGAIN!!

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Returning to Therapy

On a completely different subject....

I completed my first Knitting Therapy today (well apart from the pressing and sewing up that is). Here's the hat I mentioned earlier, knitted in Debblie Bliss Baby Soft yarn. Took a couple of hours. Now I have nothing to knit so I'll have to search out some free patterns on the net whilst I wait for my Interweave mag to arrive.

More Photos of my Hoard

Took some more photos of the downstairs rooms complete with their quota of 'stuff'.
From left to right:-
1. Laundry Room - complete with old TV, Hula Hoop, Aluminium Foil, Bags of Childrens Clothes, the Man of the House's Tools. Not much room in here is there?
2. The cupboard that is supposed to store shoes, ironing board, Hoover and Floor Mop. Something else seems to have crept in here when I wasn't looking. Wonder where I put the Ironing Board....
3. This is supposed to be my Living Room not the Box Room!
4. And finally, here is the pile of things we haved sorted out for eBay. Hope the kids aren't reading this as half the stuff is theirs. Wonder how long it'll take me to list that lot!
Tomorrow's Task is to take some photos of upstairs. Might be tricky even making it past the door in one of the rooms......

Monday, 26 February 2007

Frustrating Isn't It....

When you know what you need to do but can't seem to do it? I know I need to sort through all this junk and get it out of our house but today I couldn't be bothered to even think about it. I went shopping instead - just window shopping - and finished knitting a hat for the 3 week old baby who now lives next door. Will post a picture later on - it's a really cute hat!!

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Take One Car Full of Cardboard......

Remember I said I was going to do something about that mess? Today I got the 'Man of the House' to put all the empty cardboard boxes into the boot of my car, then we loaded up 2 boxes and 3 carrier bags full of plastic bottles and 8 carrier bags full of ......yes more carrier bags. I took them all the local recycling centre and do you know what?

You can't tell that I've got rid of anything.

As fast as I moved all that lot out and into the recyling bins, more 'stuff' was moving around the house and depositing itself in the space made available. I swear the stuff has legs!!! How long before I begin to see a difference? This could take longer than I thought.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Can you see what the Problem is?

I spent most of today cooped up inside watching the rain run down the windows. I took the camera on a short trip round the downstairs rooms and captured the following images. Can you see what the problem is?

Most rooms in our house look like this or have an area in them that looks like this. Do you think that all of this stuff is providing some sort of eco-friendly insulation? Please note the very tasteful pink checked sheet hung up at the window instead of a curtain - nil cost draught-proofing!!
I have, of course, resolved to do something about it but what that something might be, I'm not too sure. It wouldn't be Green of me to throw it all away so I'll have to find ways to Re-Use and Recycle. Perhaps if I tackle one room at a time.... no wait a minute I've tried that and all that happened was that I tidied one room and simply moved the clutter somewhere else. No, success has to be measured by the volume leaving the house FOR GOOD (and hopefully to a better home than mine).
I'll add more pictures as the situation gets better (or worse, just wait until you see what's inside the garage and it isn't a car). If you have any helpful suggestions then please post Comments. Now I'm off to find that copy of The A-Z of Recycling, wonder which bookshelf I put it on.....

Friday, 23 February 2007

Picked Up the Needles Again!!

I decided I needed something to do in the evenings to get me away from the computer (saves money if you turn it off!!) so after almost 10 years away from the needles I'm starting to knit again. I discovered the Secret Pals program by accident and decided to see if I could join. This is a US based 'Multi-Coloured Swap-Shop' for Knitters and Crocheters. Once signed up you get allocated a 'Secret Pal' and you agree to send them Knitting/Crochet/Hobby related items that will delight and surprise. The rules say that there has to be one knitting/fiber (sic) related post on your blog per month so I guess this can be my first.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Anything natural - silk, wool, angora, cashmere, cotton, hemp, banana, soy etc etc
What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Mohair makes me itch!! and I'm not keen on eyelash yarns!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
My husband bought me a complete set of straight needles in a zip up case about 10 years ago and I just shove everything in it. I probably have needles and hooks in places all over the house (see my blog and you'll understand what I mean!!)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
I've been doing knitting about 30 years, I was taught to knit by my Mother who had me knitting dishcloths as Xmas presents. I learnt to crochet at Junior School (I was about 9 I think) and after that I learnt everything from books. A Norwegian relative taught me how to knit on a Circular needles and I've got a fantastic Norwegian Style sweater as a result.
Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Advanced in that I can do any technique from a pattern - lace, cables, in the round etc but I can't 'make it up as I go along' unless I'm doing something fairly basic like babies cardigans.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I'll put one on Amazon if it helps but I'm seriously trying not to acquire any more books (see my Blog!)

5. What's your favorite scent?
Anais Anais is my favourite perfume. I love the smell of Lilies and Freesias - these are my favourite flowers.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I have the worst sweet tooth in the civilised world and a mouth full of fillings to prove it! I love it all apart from licquorice & toffee. P.S. I HATE anything with nuts.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I can knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch, origami, draw, paint, upholster, make clothes & soft furnishings and have been to Pottery classes. I could probably do most crafty things if I saw something I wanted to try.

Do you spin? No I can't but I might go on a course and I definitely fancy giving dyeing a go!

8. What kind of music do you like?
I like almost everything.
Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yep!!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Blue - any shade, pale pink, pearl grey, cherry red.
Any colors you just can't stand? Brights - Fuschia Pink, Lime, Orange, Acid Yellow, Lilac

10. What is your family situation? I'm married with three small children of 9, 4 and 20 months. The eldest has ADHD and is quite a handful so no we don't have any pets!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves - yes, I love them. Hats - only if unusual. Mittens - can't wear these as they aren't practical when you've got 3 kids who always need things carrying, coats fastening and noses blowing.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like to knit anything - so long as I like the pattern and the yarn then I'll give it a go. I prefer jumpers/cardigans/coats to anything else.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A Kid Silk Shawl (for someone else as Mohair makes me itch), a Chenille cardigan for me and I might start some slipper socks soon as my slippers are worn out.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Absolutely - I hate over packaged commercialised gifts. Made with love and care is so much better.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I only have aluminium needles and I use whatever the pattern tells me to. I think I only have 2 pairs of circular needles anyway.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I will buy them if I see them cheap on eBay. Until then I'll be using my knees!!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Apart from an Unidentified Flying Object, what is a UFO and why would I have an old one?

18. What is your favorite holiday?
A sight-seeing trip with plenty to see and do (and no children) - Barcelona, Prague, Iceland, Peru. I hate lying on a beach all day and I'm not keen on hot weather - I get prickly heat rash.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Ha Ha Ha!! See my Blog!! Is there anything we don't collect in this house?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Can't think of anything right now - will add books to my Amazon list and I prefer patterns for garments rather than bags, hats, mittens etc.
What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to try hand dyeing, knitting a shawl in the round, broomstick and hairpin crochet.

22. Are you a sock knitter?
I CAN kit socks I just don't see what the big deal is and why everyone is doing it. I'm tempted though, just because the wool is so lovely to look at.
What are your foot measurements?
UK Size 5.5 European 38, US Size 7.5.

23. When is your birthday?
December so I'm not going to get a birthday card am I?

Thursday, 22 February 2007

We'll Try to Be a Bit Greener Today

I know, it's taken me a lot longer to catch on to Blogging than everyone else but I'm here now and ready to start.

So Why Blog? I was inspired by a fabulous, hilarious book - 'A Life Stripped Bare' by Leo Hickman, in which the author tries to live a Greener Life. He does all the easy things - changing the lightbulbs, closing doors, turning the heating down etc and after that, life gets much more difficult. It's laugh out loud funny and I can't recommend it enough.

Anyway, my family and I have done all the easy things - here's a shortened list of what we've done so far:-

Changed (almost) all the lightbulbs for low energy ones. (We only change them when they stop working so it takes a while to swap over)
Draught-proofed the front and back doors of the house.
Started a compost bin.
Recycled everything that the Council collects.
Donated all usable items to Charity Shops and Freecycle.
Unplugged all the appliances we don't use.
Yelled at the kids 20 times a day to 'shut the door' and 'turn that light off'.

At least we think these are the easy ones - for some people I know, even taking stuff to the Charity Shop is too much like hard work & into the bin it goes.... I wondered if my life would turn out to be as funny as Leo's if we tried harder to be Green. So here's my blog to share how we get on.