I do normally try and keep my blog a happy positive place but I saw my doctor tonight and realise that the strain of looking after a very sick person has gotten to me somewhat of late and I have been feeling a lot more fragile than normal so bursting into tears whenever someone says something kind is getting more and more common. I won’t go into detail of what is going on but everything has been such a struggle as no one seems to ever want to do things in a straightforward way and I end up more and more confused and, if I am being honest, that makes me feel completely miserable. And today, is one of those days where I’m not feeling all that great as my doctor very gently tried to point out that she wasn’t surprised that I’m feeling this way especially since she knows a lot of the things that are going on. But we both agreed, she and I, that I am not depressed even though people have suggested otherwise. Her diagnosis was that I am incredibly strained and someone to talk to would help but reading between the lines, it sounds like the NHS can’t afford to do that any more. Thankfully, she decided to spare me from the book list that doctors now give out instead of offering counselling. Even Tamyra lying on her back with her legs in the air is not making me feel cheery and she is usually quite good at making me forget what I’m sad about.

I have been praying and praying for a change and a break through in our circumstances and for something good to happen to pao for a very long time. Like Job, I really am at a very low point right now and I think I’m just fed up and confused. I am trying very hard to remain positive and grateful for everything else.

I must apologise. I’m not cheery at all today but let’s hope tomorrow will be a better day. I’m sorry if you dropped in for some cheeriness but I am hoping that Tamyra lying on her back with her legs in the air will make you smile like it normally does me. I need to hear some cheerful stuff from you guys as I know that will definitely cheer me up. So tell me: what has made you smile today?

Gallery Days

Thanks ever so much for all your kind comments recently. I’ve got another week at the Horsebridge Gallery this week and it has been a bit of a slog this time as I’m still under the weather but that didn’t stop me from figuring out some new ways of displaying things.

I had a bag full of old bobbins I’d bought cheaply from All the Fun of the Fair a couple of years ago that I’ve been wanting to use and have been collecting lots of vintage spools of thread to be able to do this. I am completely in love with vintage spools as they have the most fantastic colour names. I had a couple of really old knitting needles I’d picked up in charity shops to complete the look 🙂

I sat in for a while today and made a few hair clips. It was a long afternoon as I was very sniffly and I was so very happy to come home again and get into bed.

Ten on a Tuesday : 10 Reasons Why You Are Ready for Winter To Be OVER

1. I’m itching to get into the garden to do some tidying up and planting. I am staring longingly at seed packets and my messy garden.

2. I’ll stop wishing that I’d have finished my blanket so I can use it.

3. I’m keen to get back outside into the sunshine again.

4. The days will be longer and the wind less biting.

5. I’ll stop wanting to eat everything in sight because I’m cold.

6. It will be spring!

7. It will be light when I drive home in the evenings.

8. There won’t be horrible bugs going round.

9. I really want to eat BBQ food.

10. I’m getting bored with winter food and soups.

Sirius would like some real flowers to sniff!

Making Monday: New Starts

I’ve been poorly again this week. Catching a cold is a dubious business and I spent last night bundled up in blankets and still shivering and cold. Better today after sleep and paracetamol but I still feel a bit ghastly. It is just the kind of time to knit socks. They are dark and not quite what I normally knit but were the first yarn I grabbed.

Inspired by Lorraine, I thought I’d have a go at making a Dover Castle Shawl. A little digging round the stash came up with some lovely Honorwood Flocks Kid Mohair. I’ve no idea about the yardage but the nice thing about the Dover Castle is you can make a smaller shawlette if you don’t have a lot of yarn. I am hoping that I’ll be able to make something decent.

The benefit of these socks is that Sirius can go incognito if necessary 🙂

52 Books in 52 Weeks: 10/52 A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber

My friend’s mother sent this book for me and I did smile when I opened it up and saw the sock pattern in the front cover. This is the second in the Blossom Street yarn store series, the first of which I’d read and enjoyed several years ago courtesy of Jeanne and Chris 🙂

It is a little while since Lydia opened her yarn store business and she is getting serious with her long-term partner Brad, the UPS man, and she is taking sign-ups for a new knitting class for learning how to make socks. She has three women sign up: Bethanne, an unhappy and unwilling divorcee; Elise, a retired librarian in the midst of a legal battle for a retirement condo; and Courtney, an uncertain teenager sent to live with her grandmother whilst her father worked overseas.

I enjoyed reading this cozy story of friends and it was clear that they would become friends from the beginning but it was nice to see how it would unfold. I quite enjoyed this second story and really must take a look at the 2 circs method although I am quite attached to the DPNs!

We have to be on the lookout for Tamyra’s water stealing antics. She is about to pounce!

Sirius likes to help

Sirius is such a character – recently he has become even more clingy and soppy than ever so he is more and more helpful. Each ball of yarn is careful inspected then sat on – perhaps for smooshiness. Any moment he can find to receive affection he will – I’ve never known such a cat for cuddles and helpfulness. Tamyra has also become a lot more affectionate – sleeping on the bed at night but has become a little less cuddlesome. I’m not sure what is going on with them!


I wandered into that dangerous place The Sewing Shop again today and came out with a project idea that I’ve been toying with for a while. I didn’t fancy making another bag but Aideen suggested that I try making a needle roll. It took me a fair while to pick out a couple of nice fabrics and I’m getting excited about making something new and different.

I’m basing my project on this needle roll that pao bought me for my DPNs years ago. I’ve got a couple of important things to finish off so it will be a good incentive to get those done as I have told myself I can’t start unless I have finished those.

pao treated me to a couple of tiny chocolate bunnies to see me through my tasks 🙂

And finally, I was in the Indian food store today looking for elusive curry leaves when I spotted this dosa mix which I knew would amuse pao given our current processed meat scare 🙂


There is something very beautiful about socks. Quite often, I will be quietly knitting some when I catch someone staring out of the corner of my eye and wondering quietly to themselves what I’m doing. Other times, curiosity will get the better of them and they will come right out and ask. I suppose that in the UK, we don’t have a lot of sock knitters so the teeny tiny needles and the thin yarn is quite a fascinating object to behold. I was sitting waiting for pao to appear just yesterday when I had a lovely conversation with this older couple about making these socks. The husband couldn’t believe that it was going to be a sock and I had to hand the sock and needles to him so he could have a closer look whilst I explained the mechanics of knitting a tube then knitting a heel, creating a gusset then doing a Kitchener stitch for the toe. I do love these kinds of conversations. I love talking about what I’m doing and encouraging people to think about craft differently. I’m naturally shy but when I can talk to someone about my craft, I become less shy and more enthusiastic. I guess it is the natural me and I’m so at home with other knitters and crafters. I have Chris to thank for this passion for socks as she encouraged me on from afar with my first sock and then she and Jeanne have been my main suppliers (and I do thank them and the others – you know who you are) of decent sock yarn over the years. I have now taken Jeanne and Louise to the sock yarn desert that I live in so they see first-hand how any decent sock yarn is devoured with immense pleasure.

So what am I knitting next? Can’t you guess?

52 Books in 52 Weeks: 9/52 River of the Dead by Barbara Nadel

Although this is the story that precedes Death by Design, I didn’t feel at all like I’d missed anything by reading them in the wrong order. A violent criminal, Yusuf Kaya, escapes from prison by faking a heart attack. He is an extremely dangerous man with a far-reaching drugs empire and Ikmen and his second-in-command, Suleyman are in pursuit of him in order to put him back into prison again. The search takes Suleyman into the dangerous and mysterious Eastern border of Turkey to the town of Mardin. Suleyman discovers a strange Eastern mysticism and religious spirit with casts a spell over the novel. Ikmen manages the investigation from Istanbul with the added strife of his good-for-nothing druggie son turning up like the prodigal son at his apartment.

Again, another exciting crime novel. Well written and really interesting as it alternates between the action in Instanbul and the action in the mystic East.

Who knows what goes through Tamyra’s mind? She turned her head just as I got the camera out!