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Knobble-bobble hat

Like most things it started with a throw away line.

Recently we have been having some glorious sun shine weather, which can be pleasant but can also bring other problems. Behind glass that sun is powerful and unrelenting, we all know that sensation of handling a piping hot steering wheel. My carer has a natty little sporty car and the gear stick (stick shift in some lands) is metal, it doesn’t sit in the shade of the dashboard but bakes from the direct sun through the windscreen. Throughout her shifts, even with the window cracked ever so slightly the metal heats up and up to ouch level.

So Friday I googled and found a crochet pattern for a mini coupe and began twiddling the yarn. When she returned for the tea time visit I surprised her with a half done cover and asked her to see if it fit the knob snuggly enough (it did).

By the time she (as she said, excited with anticipation) returned to throw me into bed, the cover was finished with a frilled edge, drawstring base and a Pom-Pom on top.

Her smile was a lovely satisfying reward.

It’s the little things that make the biggest impact.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2020 in General, people, Projects

 

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Sleeping With The Fishies

During BFF’s recent visit we tried something a little more taxing then repetitive back ‘n’ forth blanket crocheting. Google and Ravelry.com had been raided in the search for a straight forward cat toy pattern. Now you see life has taught me that words like ‘easy’ and ‘quick’ when describing patterns and methods are generally rather overstretched elements of truth, I was weary.

This time, however, after careful rereading the patterns seemed relatively uncomplicated and a great use for left over yarn (of which I have a suitcase full). So we tackled them and voila!

Of course, not every new venture goes snag free. We began crocheting a mouse and when we reached the ‘stuff’ instructions, I despatched BFF to the wardrobe for the bag of fibre fill that I remembered was hiding then. No matter how diligently she looked, no bag was found. Well, maybe my memory had mis remembered, no worries the almighty Amazon to the rescue and the next day a new bag arrived. Then when BFF went into cupboard to get out the vacuum cleaner, yes you guessed it, there sitting all proud of itself a bag of fibre fill – typical, you always find things after buying a replacement.

NotMyCat has been very obliging, he has tested one or two cat blankets in the past and has given the mouses and fishies the ‘bat and claw’ test. They passed!

Kudos and credit where it’s due, the patterns are available from

No Sew Cat Toy – Fish by Cafe del Craft

Cat Toy – Mouse by Daisy and Storm

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2020 in General, Projects

 

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Staycation

This morning BFF flew home to Bonny Scotland after staying here to take care of me for a smidge over two weeks. After the stress and worries this year has thrown at me, the postponement of our April pj-party due to CoVid19, it was so unbelievably uplifting to have BFF walk through my door.

Our time together has three main heading, films, food and yarning. Now that might be silly chatter yarning or the more creative productive yarning. This time as well as some cat protection blankets we also tackled some rather cute cat toy mice and fish.

Previous visits have been invaded by the black and white bundle of adorability, affectionately known as Mickey #NotMyCat, this time he brought his brother Ginger #NotMyCat2. He’s a lot more timid but did like to snooze comfortably and alone either on my bedroom windowsill or the woollen blanket on my bed, he’s also very vocal and announces his arrival. Both offered their approval of the crocheted toys, plus the rubs and snooze spots, and especially the edible treats.

My BFF is multi talented, not only did I get a much needed hair cut but a pedi soak too. Mickey gave the humming, vibrating bowl of water a glare, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d decided to dip a paw in but instead he gave it the usual cat statesmanship glare of indifference crossed with that ‘stupid humans’ expression they are so adept at.

After 187 consecutive days I escaped the confines of my dusty hovel and we ventured along the High Street, suitably covered in my new denim jacket (Christmas and birthday present from BFF) and wearing a natty face mask. A few errands were ticked off the list, social distancing guidelines and hand sanitising adhered to, the find trousers task one sadly was not successful.

This visits films included

  • Spitfire
  • The ugly dachshund
  • Armstrong
  • The absentminded professor
  • Kinky boots
  • Summer in February
  • Hidden Figures
  • Broken Flowers
  • The Great Gatsby
  • First Man
  • The Parent Trap
  • Flight
  • Born On The Fourth Of July
  • A summer place
  • A single man
  • First Wives Club
  • Calamity Jane
  • The Iron Maiden
  • A map of the world
  • Capote
  • Pollyanna
  • There’s No a Business Like Show business
  • American Pastoral
  • Walk The Line
  • The Crown Seasons 1 & 2

Back to our respective routines, counting down and conjuring up, until we can get together again.

Oh the tasty treat pictured, it’s enchilasagne …. enchiladas but layered in a lasagne fashion, it is so delicious and no layer out weighs another. BFF made a second batch so there are more for me to enjoy. Did I say my wonderful BFF was multi talented???

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2020 in Films, General, Life, people

 

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Mask Mates

It all began when I was sat on the toilet, as things do. I had asked my carer how she was getting on with the masks and she was saying how sometimes they chaff the cheeks but soon the tie masks might be running out and they’d be using the elastic loop ones.

I remarked that I had seen how some people use paper clips or plastic holders to take the elastic from the ear and stop it cutting into the skin and that there had even been a crochet pattern for them.

The penny took a while to join the dots and add two and two together for joined up thinking. I crochet! I have a suitcase crammed with yarn! I could have a go at making them!!

Carer positively beamed at the idea and the offer of helpfulness.

I googled, I read up, I pondered, I prepped, I twiddled, I tucked ends, I attached buttons and ……. tada!

My button stash has let me down, I’ve run out of 3/4inch and 1-inch buttons. But I’ll wait and see how things go before getting any posted to me.

It’s at times like this I believe I’d be positively dangerous if my neurones were properly connected.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2020 in General, Projects

 

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Another day/month/year/decade Another

List? Resolution? Promise? Beginning? Intention?

I’m in that eternal internal struggle, Brain versus Body. Brain gets all over excited with ideas of new interests and thoughts of changing this, sorting that, tidying the other, bouncing about like Tigger after a double espresso, Body quietly sits, sighs and waits for a break in the babbling to go “you do remember we cannot move independently anymore” and Brain’s exuberance deflates like a balloon across a room.

My list of lists is expanding, I have a couple of big projects to work on, mainly the website Photo Album complete recreation, but before I can attempt that, I need to familiarise myself with the new html editor. It is something that is going to need dedicated hours of concentration, I will have to figure out the best between pee visits to do that. I’ve been trying to get an article published on Wikipedia, they have their own brand of coding and a complete nightmare are arbitrary opinion as to whether the subject (an independent record producer) is suitably notable and the sources cited credible!

There are a few lighter ones, some of my photo frames could do with updated photos. My female spider senses tell me I’d better order some fresh printer cartridges because Mr MuckItUp Murphy is going to meddle with my best intentions.

I’m restless, swinging between short attention spam and procrastination, probably the after effects of holiday season inactivity and that sense of ‘should be doing something’.

So, here’s a few goals.

  • Finish cat blanket
  • Start another cat blanket
  • Familiarise html creator
  • Time to do another round of back ups
  • Attempt a new book

Might just keep things short.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2020 in Life, Projects

 

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We’re gonna need a bigger box

I’m not responsible for all of these blankets, seven were stitched by my BFF when she was here in September, I have done the other fourteen. πŸ™€ I know! I’ve never managed to get so much done, ever! In the ten weeks since BFF was here, I thought I might get four done, possibly five by the end of the year, but never would have considered fourteen.

Now, a brief explanation. Historically I could only manage a row or three a day before it would have a consequence when it came to me being able to stand up and move, it’s the physics of holding myself in the stitching position, no longer being able to stand the restriction has become redundant. When I start a new blanket after a break from regular stitching, I can only do two rows before the aches begin across my shoulders, down my upper arms and up my neck, but each day I tried adding a row, pushing myself a bit further until I was able to stitch and rest in intervals across the whole afternoon and evenings. Before long I was digging in the wool stash again for three more balls of double knit, and I needed a carrier bag for the completed ones.

When BFF visited she sent down two boxes (think large gents trainers shoe box size) rammed with her yarn, since when they’ve been hidden behind the sofa. When Nephew was here Friday I got him to grab one and empty it into the stash suitcase, thinking I could put the blankets in the box but it’s not big enough.

My current blanket will take longer, the yarn is a lighter weight so there are far more stitches to the eighteen inch row, and there are about three rows to the inch and there are twelve inches to do. I might break my rule of only working on one at a time and start a second with thicker dk so it grows quicker.

Still, some lovely pussy cats and kittens are getting an early visit from this Santa’s helper, hopefully they’ll get new homes quickly too.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2019 in General, Pets, Projects

 

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Tick-Tick-Boom

Right, let’s get comfy in the head’s office for a progress report ….. hmmmm

  • Complete three cat blankets βœ…
  • Complete photo organising project βœ…
  • Mac back up βœ…
  • Add sailing blog to my website ❌
  • Add photo album to website ❗️
  • Send letter and photos to Aunt βœ…
  • Finish current book and review βœ…
  • Sort, weed, tidy desk and draws βœ…

❗️Due to the delights of the latest Mac update, the website photo gallery is going to have to be a complete do over. Starting from scratch with eighteen years worth of accumulated archive that needs cataloguing again. That’s a three to four month job.

❌ I coulda, maybe shoulda, but just didn’t.

I might have got slightly over eager with the cat blankets but that’s another blog for another day. It felt good to get things finished and sorted but as always there are other things sneaking in to disrupt a goal. I’m trying to complete some new articles on behalf of a friend on Wikipedia, it is tedious in the extreme, the coding, citation and external references are complicated to complete, copyright free images keep getting deleted by a bot for no given reason. The articles in draft form have to be checked and approved which could take up to five months.

As for the next to-do list. Hmmm, well, let me think about that.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2019 in General, Life, Projects

 

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Been doing the do

It’s been a while, so much has happened since I last listed jobs and progress, I had been dreading reappraising my jobs and projects lists. So let’s see if I’m nearer a B- Good Effort than the C- could do better…..

  • Update Management Company spreadsheets βœ…
  • Email Agents for update on works pending βœ…
  • Liaise with Director over estate business βœ…
  • Order Great-Niece’s birthday present (4 already!) βœ…
  • Collate care professionals names, addresses, phone numbers ❌
  • Begin DLA to PIP migration (scary) βœ… and blogged
  • Amass medical evidence βœ…
  • Do own financial evaluation βœ…
  • Source home demo powerchairs – ⚠️ shelved temporarily
  • Update website (1st Aug) – ❌
  • Cogitate Mac β€˜big projects’ list βœ…
  • Go through and weed 300+ saved read emails βœ…
  • Finish cat blanket crochet βœ… and a couple more βœ…βœ…

Blimey it looks like I’ve been super busy, and I am really surprised considering all the extra stress and business I’ve had cross my world these last three months. Now then, what shall we aim for over the next couple of months ……

  • Complete three cat blankets
  • Complete photo organising project
  • Mac back up
  • Add sailing blog to my website
  • Add photo album to website
  • Send letter and photos to Aunt
  • Finish current book and review
  • Sort, weed, tidy desk and draws

That should do for now.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in General, Life, Projects, Website

 

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The Best Of Fun


Recently my BFF came to play stay for a couple of weeks. Our twice annual pyjama party complete with fabulous food, furry entertainment from #NotMyCat Mickey (aka Mickster, mooch, buggerboo, etc), lots of conversations and reminiscences, music, stitching and of course movies.

  • Barefoot in the Park
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Cromwell
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • The Way
  • Walk In The Woods
  • The Road
  • The Battle of the Sexes
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Stonehearst Asylum 
  • In The Shadow of the Moon
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Summertime
  • The Fastest Indian in the World
  • Gravity
  • The Zookeepers Wife
  • Sybil
  • Blackboard Jungle
  • Mad Men season one, two, three, four and five

BFF had had a vertigo episode before she came to stay, and while resting in her bed she was able to focus on crocheting some cat blankets and brought 10 finished ones with her, along with a stash of double knitting yarn. She is such a quick stitcher that she could stitch a complete blanket every day. We paid a visit to the local wool shop to source a cotton blend to complete one of my blankets. Before long we had 23 blankets ready, and contacted the local cat protection branch for somebody to come and collect them. They posted a very nice thank you message on their Facebook page.

We ventured in to town to take care of a few errands, and often trotted to the local supermarket for nibbles and treats. On Easter Saturday we even went to the local beach and wondered the Esplanade before sitting on a bench and enjoying the sunshine. It was quite unexpected as often there is a cooling sea breeze but there was hardly any movement.

All too soon our fun has to come to an end, the suitcase is packed, and she is returning home. We re-set the counter for her return sometime in September. 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2019 in Life, people

 

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Proper Busy Hooker


Back in May 2017 (😱 yes I know, that long ago) I blogged about embarking on a new crochet project, the stitching of cat blankets for Cats Protection (Project Cosy Cats).  I don’t stitch much in the summer as my hands are too hot to comfortably work the wool, so generally I stitch in cooler times, about an hour and half to two hours a day, two or three days a week, because doing too much can cause me to suffer cramp, or strain in my upper arms and shoulders, which impacts on my get-up-able-ness. 

The yarn has been in my stash bag and from time to time I’ve (or my great neice) has dibbed in to select a fresh ball for a new blanket.  Trying hard to find a different pattern for each blanket, although I am going to have to start doubling up.  Today I stock-taked/stock-took the blankets I have already completed and the yarn stash bag (although there is also a large shoe box of yarn I haven’t tackled, yet).  I have completed twelve blankets (pictured above), there is another needing edging (it needs a cotton blend of yarn, it’s an ideal excuse reason to visit the wool shop when my BFF comes to stay) and I have started another, that’s number 14.  Even so I’ve still yarn for another eight blankets, with what’s in the shoe box and the tail end scraps blanket, I’m about half way through my yarn.

WooHoo 🎊

I’ll have to contact Cats Protection to see if someone can come collect the done ones.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2019 in General, Pets, Projects

 

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