Friday, 30 March 2012

I made a thing

My veg patch:

It might yet fall apart, it isn't brilliantly made but I am chuffed to bits with it!

Cordless screwdrivers are excellent for sore hands (am in oodles of pain now but worth it) and I love drilling (am looking round for more things to attack).

Have removed a few inches of last years compost from each container and added fresh, and as you can see my incredible cat prevention system. AKA trellis.

As we seem to have snow, sleet and ice forecast for next week (after two weeks of 20C weather) everything is staying in the greenhouse for a while. With hot water bottles and mugs of cocoa.

But eventually there will be assorted green beans, peas, salad and some veg to go in these. Might fill the gaps with smaller planters for the lettuce.

I love my tiny garden.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Once Upon A Time

I could draw, but I seem to have forgotten! Took a sketchbook into the garden this afternoon and as well as being painful and stiuff my hands just didn't want to draw, grrrrr. I persevered, and will take a piccy of what I ended up with even though I am not pleased with it - will be interesting to see if I get any better if I keep practising.

I was planning to do a life drawing evening class next month but really don't think I am up to it yet. Something good to look forward to for another time though.

Maybe not the best choice but I liked the shape of the basket with the branch above it.

The tiny garden is perking up really well with all this sunshine and warmth:
Tulips and little plants are sprouting all over the place. I tend to layer bulbs so as one lot die off another can come through, and then just keep topping up with plant food and encouraging words.
So far so good.
No idea what is in some of these pots anymore! There should be some daffs and some narcissi, but as for the rest not a clue, I just shoved loads in and hoped for the best.
The first blossom came out yesterday - this tree is spectacular in spring (and a pain in the bum when it all drops). All I see when I open my bedroom curtains is a mass of blossom that smells fabulously sweet. I think - think - it is some sort of wild cherry, although last year was the first time I have seen anything resembling berries on it. Anyone else have any idea what it is?


Sweet peas in the greenhouse, also assorted veg seeds galore are starting to peep through so I must get the raised veg patch sorted asap.
Today is my lovely mum's rather special birthday - she goes bonkersmad is we buy her anything so I made a simple but pretty wash cloth, and bought some hand made rose soap which smells lovely.
Typically she says it is far too nice to use! Which I think means I got it just right ;-)
Have a lovely day mum. xx

I am also moving on with the skelly cardi - the back is almost done:
This was from a couple of days ago, since then I have finished the skull and am onto the armhole shaping. I am really ready to start blocking and seaming, have just about had enough knitting this! Hopefully I will have it finished in time for Tuesday's rather grotty hospital appointment.

That's it for now, hope you are enjoying the lovely weather (snow? what's all this about snow on the way??).

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Stocking up

My little Etsy shop has some new goodies in, do have a peep!
Last week's update sold very quickly which is deeply flattering.

Shop can be found here: thesulkycat

A sneak peek:

I also found some of the small box bags (project bags, ideal for socks!) and have listed some of those (again these sold almost as soon as I listed them) and will add more in the next day or so.

Comments / feedback very welcome!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Spring is sprunging and spranging and indeedy sprenging all over the place.

The tiny garden is doing well so far:

worth every minute of planting bulbs.
Can you tell I love my little garden?

Now - importanbt things. Pegging - how do you do yours?

Are you the sort who must have matching coloured pegs? Do you just throw them all out anyold how, so long as they are hanging it will do? Or do you break every rule and deliberately miss-match your pegs?

Here, have a look:
It's like a reverse OCD -I cannot bear having two pegs of the same colour next to each other, arrrggghhhh!! I tried, I really did - even bought matching dolly pegs so I had no choice. But that way madness lies.
Has to be colour, has to be none-contact colour.

I don't wear socks very often (or didn't until my feet became so painful), but if there happen to be several socks of different styles and colours in the wash then they get hung out any old how, not in pairs. I know I know, this will mean some of you may never sleep again ....

I even have a peg-related injury:

As I have said over on Rav this morning, that is the same sort of swelling the nurse the other month inferred I was imagining ... sheesh.

Talking of which, was at the hospital yesterday for a mammoth 4 hours - scans, nurse, consultant, bloods. Many bloods (NINE). Gawd. They were terribly short staffed ( 4 nurses out of the usual 11), thankfully the consualtn I saw was much better than last time I saw him, in fact there was a big change all round in how I was treated.
In short, active RA in my toes, none in my swollen hands - sonographer redid my hands because she couldn't believe something so swollen and bruised could not more going on (apparently they think it is soft tissue damage / tendonitis / inflammation).
Stick with current meds for now, increasing dosage very slowly, with option to go back to methotrexate plus A.N.Other in the future if things don't improve. Sleeping tabs every night if needed. Etc etc - check up in 6 weeks, consultant in 3 months but with telephone access to them as and when needed.

Tears happened a couple of times (very long time to sit with sore body, throw in very painful (fibroid?) cramps and ME and it was all a bit too much).

Hey ho. So today is going to be a laid back, watching IPlayer / Netflix sort of day with some knitting.

32 inches. Nuff said.

I tried to print the postage label to send some books to Amazon to trade, but found I had run out of ink and had to order some from - er - Amazon, Ironic eh.

I have some more fibre to list on Etsy, will hopefully start on that today too.

There, enough waffling on - hope you are enjoying this lovely Spring weather, isn't it good to see some more daylight and blue skies? It's a bit nipply here still but what the hell, it's better than it being freezing and grey.

Monday, 19 March 2012


Couldn't make it up at the moment - managed to get an urgent Dr's appointment this morning, she thinks I have fibroids and is arranging scans for asap.


Have slept all day (by hell it hurt this morning, she's a lovely Dr and was very apologetic but I ended up in tears and I am usually a tough bird) and am utterly exhausted. Plus will be at the RA hospital for a few hours on Wednesday for bone scans and to see the consultant.

I suspect the rest of the week will be spoonless.

(If that means nothing, then reading the spoon theory might help - by far the best description of ME / chronic fatigue based illness I have seen).

Saturday, 17 March 2012


WARNING: avoid if of a nervous disposition ;-)

To confirm what many have thought over the years - and one Very Famous Knitter in particular - I actually do appear to be full of shit.

Or at least I was until the last few days. Blimey, stomach upset and a half! That came on top of a really unpleasant week of Special Girl Time (as christened by my parroty friend), also out of the blue.


I am not supposed to get periods anymore, but nobody seems to have told my body that. AWFUL. A one woman black pudding factory. Pain pain pain, I have a sneaking suspicion the dreaded endometriosis is back. Pah to all of it. pah.

Had my usual blood tests / blood pressure checks on Thursday and mentioned it to the nurse, who said if the SGT comes back then I really need to see a Dr asap (history of cancer and endo), and that the shiteing oneself to death part was probably a nasty bug that's doing the rounds. I had Imodium and Dioralyte so now may never ever go again.

                                                                  A Nasty Bug.

Throw in the RA pain and I am in danger of losing my sense of humour.
But at least I am not full of shit.
For now ...

Knitting has been happening on and off.
I am still enjoying the skelly bones cardi, one side (thankfully the second) is definitely better than the first and I have tweaked my (self drawn) chart accordingly.

I am hoping to finish the fronts today. One sleeve is finished:
I am thoroughly enjoying it, possibly because it is just so silly. Silly is good.

Plus Spring seems to be here (even though there are big dark clouds outside)(and I just put my washing out).

These little beauties have just started opening, I don't usually grow them outside so I am dlighted to see them looking pretty good.

My sitting area is also looking rather nice at the moment, worth every bit of back ache shifting things around!
Bearing in mind this is a seriously small garden I think it's looking OK at the moment (this half widthwise is what you see, plus maybe 6 inches behind the white board to the left - the red bit behind the round blue pot is my doorstep. I have the same again on the other side and that's it).

This next bit is still a work in progress, the table (made by my friend Barry the Boat) needs shifting as the birds are finding it rather a good target.
The celtic wood thingy is something I painted many years ago.

And dyeing is happening, I have An Idea and quite possibly A Plan, whether or not they will work is debatabubble. If it stays dry I should be able to get some out on the line later on today and get a better idea of how accurate the colours are compared to what's in my head.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Link to my etsy shop:

Sorry, the whole page went a bit bonkers when I changed the layout, I know it's at the bottom somewhere but that's not a lot of use is it!

Not much left, but more to come probably on Sunday - will update on here too.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


The sunshine made me do it .

Today was glorious - I went out to potter in the garden and realised I looked like a mad old bag lady in my many scruffy layers, so changed into leggings and a SHORT SLEEVED tee shirt - and it was warm, real genuine proper warm!

I planted some seeds, tidied some pots and then brought PSidney out - he loves the sun, so he sat on my knee and scoffed lettuce them nuzzled in for a snooze while I read my book. My hands are very swollen and sore so stroking his little fat warm body was perfect.

I have though managed to get some dyeing finished and listed on Etsy - amazingly some sold within minutes of listing it, which I am absolutely delighted about. I don't get that sort of 'I am good at my job' thing anymore, so knowing someone likes my craft work gives me a bit of that back.

These are what I listed today:

You may need sunglasses.

I have more ready to plait, photograph and list hopefully tomorrow, energy reserves and hands willing.

Hasn't done much to improve the clutter and mess in the living room though ....

I have new neighbours, yuk - no offence to them as they are possibly (hopefully) perfectly nice, but I have been spoiled by having an empty house next to me for over a year, it has been bliss. These are tiny houses, terraces, and their chimney breast is next to mine so I can hear pretty much everything. The last neighbours had a little boy who seemed to think he was a sire, constantly weeeeeooooooweeeeeoooooooo over and over and over again.

Here's hoping these aren't too noisy - I think I am turning into my mother. Help!

The Triffid has now passed the two foot mark, and is almost 26 inches tall. Another foot or so and it might not fit on the window sill ...

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, and had plenty of sunshine.


Thursday, 8 March 2012


Everyone OK?

The Triffid is continuing with its Triffid like ways - ie upwards.

It is now an utterly ridiculous 23 inches tall - it seems to be growing almost one inch per day (yes that is a tape measure next to it, near my specs) and yes I AM becoming abnormally obsessed. More of these needed next year, they have a wonderful comedy element to them.
The Christmas Cactus has just started to grow its little red tips so that should start flowering in the next few weeks, it never blossoms over Christmas but usually goes bonkers around May / June. Each to their own, I rather like a rule breaking plant.

I am knitting away still on the SkellyBones cardi and really enjoying it - the first side isn't perfect but I can see what needs altering and should be able to sort it for the second side.
I plan to write this up (famous last words), I really think I should be using my time more wisely (although what could be more wise than trying to give this poor little stumpy bod the rest it obviously needs?) and try to get some patterns out into the big blue yonder.

This is where I am as of this morning. I am not planning a skull on the front or a hood, or bones on the sleeves, but I do fancy a skull on the back with a pink bow (to go with my beloved Ravelry avatar). With a full black skirt this could end up being quite cute for Spring. Or utterly daft ;-)

Anyway, it is keeping me occupied, I am enjoying it and I am enjoying the fact I made the grid for it.
And yes that IS a mint wrapper under the cushion.

What else? More dyeing, I have been struggling with terrible back ache lately which has just started to ease off (an old injury, knackered it twice, once was a bad riding accident the other the dangers of teaching! ie loads of books to carry) so bending over the table outside sets it off - so one hank of fibre a day. But I managed to do a bit yesterday and another today - yesterdays in particular is looking really good.
I don't tend to go for soft or subtle colours (which is possibly not a surprise to anyone at all), but vibrant rich colours.

Piccies to come.

Some knitting for a 'Thing', a wotsit, a doodah.

And I am continuing to sort and sell various wool (and some clothes) on Fleabay so that's all good. Upstairs is still chaotic but slowly it's getting there, wherever 'there' may be.

Thassit for now, hope all are well.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

By George!

It's a whopper.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Dyeing to show you!

Finally my brain and body -and the weather - all worked in relative harmony and I was able to do a small amount of dyeing. My back and hands are dreadful so it was through gritted teeth, but the pleasure from actually doing something just about balanced the pain.
I am soooo brave ;-)

I am very pleased with this - and there was me worried the colours would NOT be bright enough!

There is a length (oo er) in deep purples and deep pinks drying in the bathroom at the moment - all to add to Etsy soon. These are Falkland, which I have been spinning lately for the first time and really enjoyed (nice long fibre, very easy to use).
I love colour - I don't wear colour, but do enjoy the chance to indulge in brights and clashing colours.

I have also finished three blocks for the throw I am knitting - this one is for meeeeee. My daughter has one, my mum has one so it is my turn.

Absolutely love this one - all knit in Wendy Mode Aran, which is very soft yet has enough body to make the cables 'pop' nicely. This pattern was from a collection of cable blocks, a booklet the name of which I have forgotten at the moment.

This second one was bought from Ravelry (the pattern that is, not the knitting!). I have used her designs before and find them easy to follow.
Finally this one which is also from the booklet.

Each measure roughly 12 inches square - I think 4 x 4 should make a decent snuggly sized throw.

The weather here has changed and apparently (depending on which weather report you read or listen to!) snow is on the way as from tomorrow. Grrr, just when I was really enjoying planting things and pottering in the Teeny Tiny Garden. I have three large plants to go outside, but might hang onto them for a few days indoors until the weather does what it needs to do.

My mood is different at the moment, much more upbeat. My body is knackered - tired out and full of pretty bad pains, but for whatever reason I am chirpy - whether that is from being outside more, from seeing things grow, from making myself 'do' more I don't know but long may it last.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


What an improvement a night's sleep makes. Last night was a beeping tablet night - yes I have read the current research into people taking sleeping tabs being 4 times more likely to die. Reading further, it seems this is linked to sleeping tablets and depression, also the side effects the following morning and driving or using machinery.
But whatever, it has to be balanced against NO sleep.

Tuesday night was horrendous - I gave up at about 4.30am and came downstairs. The pain (knees, foot, hand, back) was off the scale. Most of yesterday was spent on the settee under throws, snoozing and taking tablets.

So a full night's sleep last night was bliss, and today has been easier. Thank you lady Tramadol et al.

I spent some of the afternoon in the teenytiny garden, absolutely loved every moment. We have had the mild temperatures here but no sunshine, just lots of cloud - today the sun has shone allllll day long!

Snow, ice, frost, rain, wind all forecast for next week so I am making the most of it at the moment!
I pretty much gritted my teeth and got on with it - potted up lots of bulbs and a few plants, more to do tomorrow unless my poor bod refuses after today's exhertions!
I repotted most of these, I think there are 60 or so bulbs in now (late daffs and tete a tete galore), and added a fresh layer of compost to the rest of the pots where shoots are poking out left, right and centre. I love this so much.
Also these pots (behind the lillies). The lillies (Stargazers, my very favourite plant) were from the market, about £2 for the pot - it's been in the living room but was just on the turn so I thought it might enjoy being outside until it pops its clogs.
I did a bit of sweeping and binning, trying to tidy one side of the garden into a nicer area to sit in.
The bench was moved from one side the the other, much nicer where it is now.
PSidney came out to sit on my knee, he scoffed loads of cucumber then snuggled in and started singing away to himself. Lovely! He loves being outside - he lives inside, but seems to love the feel of the sun on him and who can blame him.
So I took my camera, a book and put my feet up on a pot of Rosemary and cuddled my singing piggy.
Rosemary wafting up and the smell of the lillies, and PSid singing.
Definitely made all the pain etc ease a bit.
I slept like a baby on the settee when I came back inside! And I suspect I will feel it tomorrow.
The grey floofy thing I have on is this:
my slouchy grey striped jumper, I love this.
Not at all flattering, I look like a short arsed pink haired tank in it - but it is soft, warm and like wearing a big cuddle. Perfect in the house jumper.
Based on Bumble from Kim Hargreave's Shadows book, but longer and I played with the stripes. I had a lot of grey Alpaca Cotton to use up, and bought 4 balls of black and 1 mid grey, so not a terribly expensive knit but a very snuggly one.

Next knit - something for a surprise, and I have half a plan to make myself a long black jumper with skelly bones on the front. 'Cos I am sophisticated.

Enjoy the sunshine!