A captive freed

I was going to show you some photos of our Saturday afternoon at the seaside but I’m too tired to write in the code I need as the uploading tool is misbehaving again so that’ll have to wait for another day but there is some good news! Perdita has been given a clean bill of health by the vet – she is now allowed to run free in the house and she is taking advantage of it. She even chased Merlin. Our vet now thinks that it is possible that she wasn’t hit by a car after all even though her legs were completely floppy when we took her in. He has a theory that someone kicked her – poor girl. She is staying inside for a few more weeks until her friends return from their holiday. At least we know where to look when we need to find her.

I have just been to see the optician and I now know why my eyesight has been so uncomfortable and out of focus in one eye lately. I have an astigmatism so it explains why reading has been so hard going. I’m very behind on bloglines because I haven’t much wanted to go and spend time with my computer out of work even though I have an assignment due really soon now as my eye is so uncomfortable. I’m undecided as to whether I should take a year out from my degree or not as I’ve been offered the option to do so. The eye issue will easily be corrected with new glasses but I am so tired after all the things that have happened this year.

(yes, I know it is 4am in the morning here but I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep!)

You may need sunglasses to view this post

Thank you so much for your good wishes for Perdita. She is definitely on the mend and very good natured considering she is spending all her time caged up. She’ll be allowed out on a supervised wander tomorrow and then it is back to the vets again on Wednesday for a check up.

I’m not back to being my chirpy self at the moment so I’ve been working on my stocking stitch. I think the general slew of doom and gloom on the news has made me a little sad so I decided to knit something loud and colourful to cheer myself up. These colours are so bright, I’m surprised you didn’t see them in the USA. The yarn is from Violet Green in the colourway Phoebe. I couldn’t resist showing off all of my Phoebes at the same time.

Maybe I should make a turban for Merlin? He is in trouble because when pao was lying in bed ill with a migraine today, Merlin hopped on the bed and was sick right next to him. Not good when you’re nauseous already, so I’m told.

Phew, Perdita!

A very brief post to say that Perdita’s home and the damage wasn’t as bad as we had feared. She had a dislocated hip and a hairline fracture so she was a very lucky kitty indeed. She now has a week in a kitten pen which we can tell already she is not impressed with but she is still alive albeit in a lot of pain. We’ve just spent the evening getting to know Perdita’s friends and have only just got home again ourselves. I can understand why she likes them because they LOVE her!

Taking a chapati break

I’ve been so tired, ill, stressed lately that when I booked three days leave to spend time writing my essay this last week, I really didn’t feel up to it. So I took the first day gently and felt so much better in myself that I was able to think properly about what I was writing about and start coming up with ideas which I hadn’t been over the last few weeks because my mind had been so busy working on other things so I took this as a good sign that I needed a break. So I took one and spent the time watching the first series Ally McBeal (not really my first choice but she is growing on me and the complete box set was very cheap) and knitting my Clapotis which I finished on Friday.

The knitting of the clapotis was not without worry though. Not far from the end, I ran out of yarn a mere five or so short rows away. I was a little disappointed as I thought I could just about make it to the end until I spotted that there was a long piece of that same yarn attached the the yarn label. As I had two labels (thankfully I hadn’t thrown away the first), I knotted these together and I was back in business. I even had a couple or three inches of spare yarn. Phew!

I used two skeins of Manos de Uruguay for the clapotis – one of them was predominantly pink and the other quite orange – both the same colourway but I liked how they were different. This really works well with the pattern.

It is rather nice.

Even though I’d had reservations about the colour as I was knitting it, I think it looks rather good.

pao is a bit of a hero and just before we started on our break (he also took time off too), he insisted I order a Fleece Artist Stormwater Shawl kit. It’s that sort of time of year when I’m thinking about shawls because it is too cold to go without something over your shoulders when nipping over the to the shop. I really like the deep blues of this kit and it is fun to knit as it is knit from two skeins.

He surpassed himself when this surprise turned up 🙂

I admit I was horribly sad when we got the test results back for Ariel but she seems to be a bit better since we started her on the thyroid meds. She is running and leaping about and much much friendlier.

In case you are wondering what a chapati break is… pao christened my clapotis a chapati shawl. Quite apt since the colours are rich and spicy. I spent most of my time off just knitting the chapati and switching off.

Our little tabby cat, Perdita, has disappeared. We let her out early yesterday evening but there was no sign of her when we got home last night nor this morning which is really unusual. We walked up the next road and I looked up the main road to see if she had been hit by a car in the night but there was no sign of her. Hopefully, she has just gotten herself locked in somewhere and that someone will let her out. Please keep your fingers crossed that she is ok – we’re missing her.

PERDITA UPDATE: She’s been found! Our neighbours brought her over this afternoon and it looks like she has been hit by a car. She’s at the vet’s now and he has sedated her and given her painkillers. Tomorrow she is being X-rayed – fingers crossed there is nothing wrong. When he picked her up, her back legs just hung there limply but she might not have had spinal cord damage as her tail was swishing.

Tuesday is for odds and ends

Just a few photos from the weekend. I finished off a Branching Out scarf in the lovely Anny Blatt mohair I got in the Loop sale and started on a clapotis in the Manos de Uruguay silk blend I picked up last week. Our church is going to have a lot of building work carried out in the next few months and we were at the last service until September on Sunday. I saw the cherry blossom as I was leaving today and snapped a quick photo because it is really pretty 🙂 (I can’t figure out how to rearrange the photos but the captions should help!)

We’ve got the results of Ariel’s blood test and she has a thyroid condition and is borderline diabetic so it is pills and special food now (translation: expensive). She’s also got kidney problems so not a well pussy cat. Thankfully, pao put her tablet in her food and she hoovered it up – our arms are safe from her claws at the moment!


Wingham Wool Work in a village near me

I often dribble over the photos of goodies obtained from Wingham Wool Work when Nic has been on Skip North so when I heard that they were going to be in Old Wives Lees I decided to pop along. I didn’t take my wheel as I was feeling a bit shy and we’d been in the vet’s office for about two hours on Saturday morning (not because Ariel needed two hours – we just had to have a cup of tea because our vet is nice like that).

The whole hall was really packed full of eager spinners. There were a huge selection of fibres, tools and threads. I was really glad to bump into my spinning teacher, Carole.

These silk threads were tempting. I saw some sari silk tucked away but didn’t get any. I tried to be restrained.

I picked up a pair of carders which are a lot nicer to use than the dog brushes I’ve been using. I was inspired by Robin’s collection of spindles to pick up this Kromski drop spindle to try out.

The fibres were really nice. It was hard to choose some but I got some alpaca and some mohair as well as some other nice tops.

I even managed to find a little yarn which was really rather nice. The sandy, heathery one was a home spun Norwegian and the red cone was pure silk. They were both quite inexpensive so I’m definitely going to look out for a return visit from Wingham Wool Works.

I thought you might enjoy seeing my spinning progress. This is my first attempt. It had a bit too much spin into it so it was quite curly.

This week, I had my nice brushes and was able to spin up a bit of this kermit-coloured yarn. This is a lot more even.

When we got back, Merlin was busy sleeping – quite normal. Ariel probably has a thyroid condition which will require a daily dose of pills. She is quite vicious when being given pills so we won’t look forward to dosing her with those. We have a pill shooter device which we’ll definitely have to use.

More from Wickhambreaux

Here is the pub of the enormous fish and chips fame!

After we came out of the pub, it had brightened up considerably and I spotted this lovely bench and tree in blossom.

This house featured in the film A Canterbury Tale which was mentioned by David last week. I’ll definitely have to look out for that film as it features Fordwich which is very near here as well.

Can you imagine living in a house this big?

I’ve always admired this castle-like house.

From the outside, the church window doesn’t look like much.

But inside – wow 🙂

I was thinking of the earth palette for Project Spectrum in April and May when I saw these tiles

and this amazing floor tile. I recognise the stork symbol pelican from the cathedral. I don’t know what it means but it would be interesting to know more about. Maybe rebirth?
(Updated: thank you to Alotherium for explaining in the comments, it is helpful to understand what the symbolism means)

I really liked the church ceiling 🙂

and this angel

and these paintings.

Another brown object for Project Spectrum.

Finally, an oast house.

Friday is for finishing

It was a slightly traumatic morning when my boss noticed that there was a printing error on our phone directory – a trawl through my email helped me realise it wasn’t all my fault – phew. Despite this moment of sheer panic, I got my proposal emailed well ahead of the 5pm deadline at 2.30ish. Phew, again!

My eyes were giving me a bit of trouble this afternoon – they are incredibly dry now I’m not meant to take the eye drops any more and the artificial tears were all at home so I gratefully got a lift home with a friend a little early. Those artificial tears were bliss!

Some might remember the cushion kit from Aragon Yarns and how I hadn’t finished it because I wasn’t brave enough to do the sewing up bit?

Well, this afternoon I got brave and spent a good half hour hunting out the sewing up implements and …


I can’t quite decide what to do tomorrow – a spinning meet at Old Wives Lees where Wingham Wools will be or going for a walk to Ickham. Maybe I’ll do both this weekend but it depends on how Ariel gets on at the vets first thing! I really must sort out the rest of my photos from last weekend so will crack on.

Have a good weekend!

Almost finished

My grant application is almost ready to go! Yay! I did have to spend about 2 hours this evening after work trying to figure out what the finance people had done to my spreadsheet as I had write out all the amounts in terms of activities rather than persons, overheads, etc etc but I brought my lucky (well, only – bequeathed to me by a colleague who had left) calculator home.

It has been an odd day but the nicest thing happened when I was all anxious about what was going on with my spreadsheet in the research office – I got a surprise parcel from Kristi .

What a lovely surprise! Three books I’ve not read – I’m really looking forward to reading them all particularly the Cather’s as I’m probably going to write on her for my coursework essay. BUGLES! They are the best snack in the whole world not only because they are super tasty but because they can withstand the rigours of air travel. I can’t believe how well they survived the trip! The yarn is a particularly lovely Pagewood Farm sock yarn in the River Rock colourway. Pagewood Farm isn’t something I’ve come across before – the colours are beautiful and it is so soft! She even sent me one of her wonderful patterns – the Flatiron Clog Socks pattern which I have really wanted to try out 🙂

The package was really well-timed as I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with work, study, eye problems, keeping my germs to myself lately so it really cheered me up particularly since I found a strange rash on my tummy this morning. The rash coupled with my eye trouble made me go and see the doctor who has advised me to put some cream on it but if the rash turns to pus then I have shingles and need some big tablets. Got to love those doctors!

Thank you so much, Kristi! You really know how to surprise a girl 🙂

Up north

I had to go to Northampton to see a lady about the project I’m bidding for yesterday. Northampton is in the middle of England so quite a distance from Kent – it took me just over 7 hours round trip to get there and back but it was worth it.

I got an earlier train that I originally intended because I was worried the underground would be busy and I’d miss my connection in London and be late for my meeting. I was right as the underground station at Victoria was so busy, the staff were only letting a hundred or so people into the station at a time. I just about made the train before so I was in Northampton an hour early.

I even managed to grab an Anglaise Abricots for breakfast from the wonderful bakery Paul.

I met a nice lady called Marie on the train who’d just come back from Belgium and despite being exhausted from travelling she very kindly took me on a whistlestop tour of Northampton. Northampton was famous for it’s shoe industry.

This is the Guildhall which I wouldn’t have found on my own.

I was reminded of the project spectrum colours when I saw Gold Street.

This is All Saint’s Church.

We ended up sitting and chatting and drinking wonderful authentic Italian cappuccinos 🙂 I was very relaxed and happy for my meeting.

Of course, I couldn’t pass up a quick trip to the new iKnit location just outside Waterloo station. They have a much bigger premises but the bar licence wasn’t granted yet so I couldn’t stop for a cold drink before heading home. I was entertained when a lady came in with her little dog all zipped into what looked like a massive handbag and showed us the tiny doggie blanket she’d made.

These little lovelies fell into my arms and it would have been rude not to have taken them home. There are three skeins of Manos silk blend – I’d bought one of the pink colour before but realised I adidn’t have enough to make a Clapotis so I had to find another, didn’t I? I really liked the other colours so I might just make two – would that be termed Clapotii? The eagle-eyed among you will realise I’ve bought a Learn to Knit kit – I haven’t regressed, I just liked the pattern the kit came with. It is a bit like the Birch shawl but rectangular rather than triangular.

I got home a little over 12 hours after I’d left home but it was a nice day even though I’m pretty tired out today.

PS My friend Sarah is going to be manning the Clover Hill Yarn stall at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Her family are all extremely talented – today she is showcasing some drop spindles made by her dad – how neat is that?! She is also having a contest to win some yarn so if you link to the Clover Hill blog before 10th April 6pm Eastern time you’ll be in with a chance.