Saturday, 30 April 2011

A mixed bag.

That's how I feel - a totally mixed bag.
My head is buzzing with ideas of the creative variety - knitting, sewing, painting, all sorts.

But putting them into action - nope.
MW + RA + depression = utter lethargy.
Utter lethargy + knowing I have lots of time = feeling I should be doing something constructive with it.

Hey ho.
I am struggling with how immense the changes to my life are - for one I certainly did not expect to be walking with a stick! Albeit a very nice stick.
Pretty eh?
But still a stick.
And heaven help us all I have ended up with a shopping trolley! Not quite one of those square tartanesque ones that little old ladies use to ram their way to the best things in shops, mine is small and pink / black zerbra stripes (subtle eh) but still a flippin' shopping trolley. Yes it definitely helps with the heavy stuff my wrists simply cannot manage but I do feel self conscious (this coming from someone with tattoos and pink hair).

Le sigh.

You know things are getting pretty dire when making faces with some of ones tablets livens the day up!

Anyway. Enough of that for now (but probably much more to come, I need to get it all out somewhere).

I have a copy of this winging its way towards me

I bought a few kits and patterns after Christmas but my initial surge of enthusiasm waned when I realised how poor my fine motor skills had become. But I love the blurb for this about table / tea cloths with poisonous flowers all over!

Knitting wise - front and one sleeve of Sheer finished.

And slowly but surely chipping away at Spriteling, which I am enjoying but my brain is all over the place or half asleep, not enough happy medium to settle to more than a couple of rows at a time.

I like this, the wool is a soft Posh one which I thought might me lacking the crispness needed for this pattern but I really like how it's working out so far. I think this is the first time I have bothered with a lifeline because I am pretty sure if I cock it up I wont have the perseverance to restart it ....

Hope you are having a good weekend, enjoy the sun!

Friday, 29 April 2011

OK, I admit it - I ended up watching the whole thing even though my brain had turned to mush. Or possibly BECAUSE my brain had turned to mush ...

The highlight - the cartwheeling verger.

Cartwheels-Down-The-Aisle  (clickable link)

Oh, and Andy's daughters in their panto outfits.


Wedding Report

This is sulky reporting from the wedding of - er - some woman who has never done a days work in her life and some waster with big teeth.

Am I excited by it? Nope.
Will I be watching it? Hell yes.

I love the long long queue of folk going into the Abbey - wonderful assortment of vile outfits and naff hats. One very lovely peacock blue outfit, some classy dresses in shades of beige (yes they don't stand out much but deffo the classier option). And by heck David Lord of Beckingham looks rather dapper.

One word of advice - DON'T TAKE BLOODY PHOTOS AS YOU ARE ENTERING THE ABBEY YOU TWIT! Yes, one woman seemed to think that aiming her camera / phone at everything that moved was the classy thing to do.

In my ever so 'umble (ha!) opinion the Abbey is stunning and doesn't need the silly trees and greenery (£50,000 worth apparently), seems rather arrogant to think one can improve on it. I assume that was a Middleton idea?

Well, that's as good as I get with this bonkers carry on - I cannot bear Phillip Scofield and most of the other presenters, arrggghhh, but I eill be watching it and tutting and muttering in the manner of all grumpy cynics.
I suspect the majority of people have become MUCH more cynical about royal weddings after the whole Diana malarky. Plus I am tired and tired = grumpy. Meany, that's me (but you knew that anyway ;-)  ).

Daphne is in the hotel putting the finishing touches to the dress.

Enjoy if you are watching it (even if you are joining me in tut corner), enjoy if you are just making the most of a day off, and enjoy if you are at work as normal.

pee ess
why is Harry wearing all the Queen's tie backs? He looks just like his father that boy. Nowt like Charles ;-)

If I am not seen again I have been beheaded ...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

do not adjust your set

'scuse me whilst I play about with blinding colours and sickly sweet imagery.

I make no apologies.

You have been warned .... ;-)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Another day ...

and thankfully tis a sunny one. It was slightly ironic - and not a surprise - that my comfy garden chair was delivered yesterday - when it was raining!

I also got some decent plastic crates - why yes they DO have pink lids, how did you guess? - for my wool. The same wool I carefully packaged up into cardboard boxes a few months ago ...
But these should keep the dreaded moths out.

Utterly skint at the mo but will get some more when I have some dosh.

The hair is now VERY red with a touch of pink, I do declare tis magenta:

I had a whopping amount chopped off it but it was in such tatty condition I had expected that - very pleased and will be going back. Staff and general feel of the salon were great and the price, even for Leeds centre was reasonable. So yes, I am very pleased.
If you want to know, it was at Headlines in The Light (near Esporta gym).

Not much going on at the moment as I am swallowed up by a pretty grim attack of the doom and glooms.

These are all available as part of an ongoing clearout, they are in my 'trade or sell' section on Ravelry but feel free to give me a shout here if you want anything!

I need the space, need the mental tidiness and to be totally honest I also need the cash!
Oh, these too:

I am far too lethargic at the moment, probably a combination of feeling terribly down, very fed up with the way life has changed over the past 18 or so months and being in pain, but I will be getting the SulkyCat online shops restocked soon. I have some new bags cut out - I had several requests for slightly larger bags to hold jumper - sized projects, so I hope you will like what I am working on.

I also have some rather different bags and am working on a range of baby / toddler outfits (doesn't that sound pompous!) Oh, and I am about to take the leap into the unknown and ask for test knitters for my first 'proper' pattern asap. Weirdly - when I was sewing for a living and had a website I didn't hesitate to describe myself as a designer and promoted my work shamelessly, but now I am hesitant.

Self confidence, it's a very fragile thing.

My mum said the other day 'You are not 'someone pottering about in a tiny house', you should think of yourself as 'an artist who lives in a little cottage'. I love it! I think we had been watching the same thing on telly with some daft bat who said she was an artist.
So I am a magenta haired artist residing in an old cottage by the canal. Ha!

Friday, 22 April 2011

And now for something (slightly) different ...

1) excuse the ever changing layout, I have the fidgets.

2) yes I do seem to be on blogging / photography overdrive.

3) here, have some rather nice things to look at. Skip this post if you aren't interested in antiques or clothing!

Not many people know that I have always had a bit of a thing for vintage clothing - by vintage I don't mean 60s and 70s crimpelene and Primarni type static attacks, but more antique.
Where I used to live there was one tiny antique shop, perfectly set inside a very old end building - the clothes were upstairs and it was great not to have to duck like anyone else to avoid very low ceilings! This is going back to my yoof, so I certainly didn't have much money and would rummage to find anything I could afford - I suspect it was usually birthday or Chrimbo money.

Anyway, I still have a few of my beloved antiques and dug them out of hiding the other day - I plan on framing them all, ideally in box frames so they don't get too squished. It's a shame to have them out of sight but I don't want them in the air as they will just get damaged or scoffed by moths.

So here is one of my beauties - an Edwardian jacket. I had the skirt too but no idea what became of that sadly.
'Scuse the piccies / background, I will have to get some better photos before I frame this.
From around 1901.
I love this - it is totally handsewn except for the longer side and sleeve seams - by hand sewn I don't mean on a hand cranked machine but stitched with a needle and thread. It's very small (maybe a UK size 8) with a larger bust, very much the silhouette of its time.

The material feels like a lightweight wool, in a deep blue, with what feels like silk for the cream piece at the neck. The entire jacket has an underlayer, also handsewn with tiny hooks and eyes to fasten as has the jacket outer.

There is a small area of patching which was done before I bought it - I must have had this for around 30 years. The lining itself feels and looks like a soft cotton.
The embroidery sections are heavy and intricate - I am sure they have specific names but I don't pretend to be anything near an expert! If anyone knows more please do shout out, I would love to know.

The jacket is boned inside, again by hand - it certainly isn't the neatest or tiniest stitching around but this would have been everyday wear rather than something spectacular for evenings. Tis maybe the equivalent of me throwing something together for myself on my machine ... The larger hooks were to fasten the matching skirt so that it hung like a dress.

I love the detailing on the back, again stitched by hand - tiny pleats.

The sleeves are very full and taper to slim fitting cuffs which also fasten with hooks and eyes.

Amazingly there is very real damage to it - it has literally been 'stored' in a carrier bag. There is some fraying on one of the front edges
and the aforementioned patching inside.

One of the few things I own that is of any monetary worth, but very precious in terms of personal interest.

I suspect this post will have been utterly boring for those looking for SCKC gossip ;-)
(pee ess - is this layout and font bearable?)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Knit knit knit knit knit knit.

I have done some of that knitting thing lately, huzzah!
AND have even finished something.
AND have even worn it!

It's all very hit and miss, depending on how these podgy little hands of mine are. But I finished this, Percy by Louisa Harding and was able to wear it to hospital on Monday.

I enjoyed knitting this - very quick, very straightforward - the only thing of note was I used one 4mm and one 4.5mm needle for the lace pattern to make it easier to knit through the back of the loops each time. Or purl them, I can't remember off hand ...

Sirdar Balmoral which I love using - a bit warm for the fabulous 20C+ weather we have had lately but I think it will get a fair bit of wear through spring.

I am going to change the buttons to some of my antique ones, maybe silver - the irony is that my fingers are too sore most days to do them up anyway.

Well, not what I was expecting!

I ended up there for two hours, very little of that was waiting time - what I thought was going to be a consultation became very thorough scans of my hands, blood tests galore, Xrays of my chest, hands, knees and feet and then joy of joys, a steroid injection in my bum.
Apparently my hands are full of cysts, tendonitis in every finger and wrist, fluid galore and 'something' in the bones of my right hand. The radiographer (who looked about 13) commented that my knee 'crunched' under her hand - reassuring to know I wasn't imagining it. The consultant (how I wish he could have spoken better English, it was a struggle for both of us - and he had never heard the term ME which was a bit of a worry) thinks I have early rheumatism in all my joints and I go back in 7 weeks time.

I was VERY glad to have my lovely mum with me - I am a stubbornly independent little soul but all the fiddling about, prodding, needles, going from pillar to post and then having to undress and dress again pretty much finished me off.

Then I had my hair cut on Tuesday (poor planning by me I think, I was shattered!) and must say it's the best cut I have ever had. I am going back tomorrow afternoon to have it dyed - BRIGHT RED (they don't have pink), a treat from my lovely Aunt to perk me up a bit.

What else?
More knitting!

I got the fab new Kim Hargreaves book this week, and started knitting a long baggy v backed jumper straight away, should be handy for our eccentric British summer. I loathe knitting with cotton but even I know a big jumper in wool isn't too wise - so hedged my bets and bought some cheap and cheerful black and silver cotton mix from Ice. 2 days from Turkey to Yorkshire and just over a tenner, can't complain!

Tis slow going - splitty, but surprisingly soft for my fingers. Plus the silver perks it up wonderfully.
I am this far into it:

and rather pleased so far.

At the other extreme I have started knitting a lace hooded cardi, bought the pattern as soon as it came out and have been putting it off for ages because it's lace - ah, the insanity of knitters ....

It's a struggle, so the cotton is getting more attention at the moment.

I have arty plans too, but that's for another day.

How are you?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Only one thing to say today.

Justin Bieber.


That's all.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

There's something in my garden ...

and it's a tad too chunky to be a fairy.

Daphne is very impressed that I have - ahem - grown flowers inspired by her colouring. I was half hoping she would vanish into them but she started climbing 'Very Large Trees'

because she is 'Brave'.
Yes Daphne.
Very brave.

The stumpy thing (no not my leg) in the garden that I suspect is planning to be a peony when it grows up is now looking like this:

and courtesy of bird poo I suspect, I now have a couple of these which have self propagated.
I am happy to leave them in situ for now, and of course they will provide more 'Very Large Tree' practise for Daffers.

Yesterday was a bad day, bad enough to miss my daughter's birthday lunch and I spent the day on the settee under a throw sleeping, taking painkillers and sleeping. Today is a bit better, Mr Sainsbob's due soon with shopping and I think my poor handy pandies will be able to do some knitting later on - I have a cardi that is almost finished that I would like to wear when I go to the RA hospital on Monday. There's something comforting about a bit of 'own knitting' in times of stress isn't there?

PSidney continues to delight, He has my attitude to life - eat, make some noise, sleep. We also have the same sized bum, ie large. And the same size legs, ie stumpy.
He has a glossier coat than me though.

My poor mop of hair is decidedly the worse for wear - it got so horrendously knotted the other week that I had to CUT THEM OUT. So it is now long, faded pink and has short bits scattered through it.
Le sigh.
I am getting it cut on Tuesday so hopefully it will be better after that.
I loathe it when hairdressers have this mad need to dry it poker straight and glossy, my face is waaaaay too fat for that to work and it just goes flumph as soon as I walk outside.
At the moment it mostly looks like this:

I have a biggish birthday coming up too, yikes.

Enjoy the weekend folks, hope you are all hale and hearty.
Or frail and farty.
Or any combination of the above.
This post has been brought to you by the colour pink.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Oui c'est moi.
I can only type when my poor fingeroonies let me, and today is definitely better than yesterday (which was a bitch of a day painwise and had me in tears) tis a chance to update here a little bit.
Not that there is much to add as life is rather sloooooow at the moment - but I am getting used to it.

I had an appointment at the ME hospital on Monday which although not what I expected was useful. There isn't a huge lot they can do until I see the rheumatology hospital folk next Monday really so I am in limbo until then and living on painkillers. Last night was a good night - sleeping tablets, painkillers, the lot and they worked, bliss! A good snooze makes up for a lot, and makes the pain that bit more bearable. I also spent today inside doing little - BUT have started a painting for the living room so that's a huge step in the right direction - who cares if it's a good painting or not, tis the fact I am able to even gather the energy to open a tube of pain that counts!

The sun has gorn, gorn it has - but the Tree of Glory and Wonder is stunning again this year.

This is the sweetest scented blossom ever, I love this tree. Makes a hell of a mess when it drops but what the hell.
I also love my toe nails - took me three days to do them because of the pain in fingers and feet but by ek (Yorkshire as she is spoke) I do love them! Gloriously unsubtle.
I like my little chubbers, I love the excuse to be in sandals for the foreseeable future even if it pours down (which it looks like it's about to do out there, it's gone verrrry dark. Tis either rain or the apocalypse).

I am also spending a lot of time with little PSidney with the Big Fat Bum. I love Sid.

Bright he is not.
Cuddly he is.

What else? I am knitting as and when, a lovely little Louisa Harding cardi from one of her recent booklets - I think tis called Percy (and cannot be bothered to look for it and check). It's to go with a simple little dress I made last week

which although embarrassingly quick and easy to make looks rather lovely and flattering on. I am trying to build a summer wardrobe that works when my fingers do not! Simple slip on shift type dresses to go with leggings and cropped cardies, and I am planning a couple of empire line floaty maxi dresses too.
Ah, I also have ideas for knitwear design, 3 different types (not 3 patterns, 3 sorts / themes) . I need to be doing something once they get the RA sorted pain-wise or my brain is going to stagnate.

I don't know - I do think there's a market for all of them but my self confidence is a tad wobbly. We will see - I ran the vaguest of concepts by a couple of friends and they seemed to think it was viable too ...

Talking of friends and talking of sewing.
One rather wonderful friend is getting wed and Daphne has decided she is not only designing the dress but is wedding planner extraordinaire.
She's going with a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding theme crossed with Liberace and Vanessa Feltz.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011


there hasn't been much of it the last few days but it is forecast to be very warm and lovely for the rest of the week.
Things in the Teeny Tiny Garden of Delights are looking good despite the mini greenhouse blowing over the other day and smashing several planters.

This is now looking like this:
and there is this:

and this:

and a bit of this:

and this which will hopefully flower soon:

So for a Teeny Tiny Garden it's doing pretty well.

Health - utter pants! My Dr rang yesterday to say my tests had come back positive for rheumatoid arthritis, then I had a call again ten minutes later to say they had an appointment for me at the arthritis clinic at hospital in two weeks time.
So yesterday was weird to say the least - I am VERY pleased that they have found a reason for all this pain (and some days it reduces me to tears because it's so bad) but I am still shellshocked that it's pretty serious.

I also got an appointment for the ME hospital next week.

Last night is one of the first times that it really hit me that I will not be able to return to work in the near future - even though I knew that deep down it goes against a lifelong work ethic.

Hey ho. It scares me that it is April already and I seem to have achieved NOTHING. Do I need to be achieving 'things' at all? I don't know.

Anyway, my sense of humour is mostly still intact and my fabulous friends online - who I now class as genuine friends (have met some and definitely plan to meet many more this year) keep me as sane as I can be ;-)

Knitting and sewing (and any type of crafty goodness) is a bit sporadic due to the pain in my hands and wrists but thank goodness for it being there when I need it.

How are you?
Enjoy the sun if you get some today.
Big MWAH from me x