Monday, February 13, 2006

Slow responses

Now this is nothing to do with my not having a voice (into my 6th week now), but more to do with not having conquered Blogger.

Last Monday the post arrived in good time.
I was about to set out to attend my lip-reading class.
Hidden at the bottom was a slim jiffy bag from the US.

Inside it was my first concrete (rather than net) evidence that I have a secret pal looking out for me somewhere.

My secret pal had arranged to have some delightful stichmarkers sent to me.
I would have posted about this sooner, but I have been having problems with posting images here.

Third time lucky! The image appeared this time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hill climbed, voice lost again!

On Saturday I was feeling quite a bit better, and had a pretty normal speaking voice.
I even managed to make a phone call to a friend.

Sunday dawned and the idea was to get a bit of exercise ahead of our holiday in Alberta (which is looming).
All through January I had been meaning to get more exercise.
The wretched virus made this hard to do.

Yesterday there was an opportunity to go on a walk with the Peak District Mines Historical Society .
We went to look at the remains of the copper mining industry at Ecton in north Staffordshire.
Ian and I arrived at the starting point with plenty of time for the 10.00 start.

There were nine of us and two small dogs.
We started looking at the remains at the bottom of the valley, and then set off for the hilltop.

All along we were accompanied by a couple of young men driving muckspreaders up and down the road.

At one point I leapt off the roadway to get out of the way of a muckspreader, and chose the wrong verge.

My jacket beacame impaled on a strand of the barbed wire fence.

There wasn't time to do anything but stay put.

The rear wheel (fortunately not mucky) just brushed my backpack.

No-one further back down the road had the presence of mind to record my near scrape.

We had a good time, apparently missing some outstanding views.
All we saw was mist.

As we started to walk up a steep bit of road (shortly after my encounter), I could tell that my voice was going.

The rest of the day all I had was a whisper.
There were some wonderful things to see in the gloom, and I took a couple of pictures to add to my inspirational images.

This shows one of the walls in the valley.
Unusually, this one was composed of nearly all red stones.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Not enough salt in my d---

Inspired by the hat that Victoria Smedley had knitted, I decided to overdye some of my handspun.
It was one of my early decent handspun yarns, from the '80s.

I had taken some whitish fleece, and hand carded it with silk.
The silk was throwster's waste that I had dyed in all sorts of colours.
As I carded, I used several colours, so that the yarn came out cream with coloured streaks in it.

Sometimes the colours were a little more pronounced.
Close-up there were delightful little splashes like jewels.

I had sufficient to knit a sweater for myself.
So I knitted a slim fitting sweater with a circular yoke, using a slipped stitch to add a little texture.
I did like it, and it was more than warm enough.

However, the effect of the colours from a distance was just pale nondescript pastel.
It did nothing for me!

I frogged it years ago, and have used some in conjunction with other handspun to great effect.
Yesterday I looked it out, and tried to overdye it.

Now, those of you who know me, know that I do many things instinctively: knitting, gardening, cooking, and dyeing too.

Here is where I came a cropper.
Not being too bothered to check properly, I wetted the yarn thoroughly, then added some dye, salt and vinegar.
I popped it into the (dyeing only) microwave, and was disappointed.
It came out rather pale, and too much dye was washing out.

Of course by the time this was over, it was nearly 21.00, and I was busy preparing our water rations for the night.

Then I sat down, and was reading Debbie Tomkies "Hand-dyed yarn craft projects", that I had found in the Long Eaton public library on Thursday.

Here came my moment of revelation.
I haven't been using enough salt, or vinegar, with the dye.

A renewed attempt is in process now.
This is one area where low salt levels don't seem to work.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Decaf Espresso?

What's the point?

I just had one of the best eventful mornings.

No need to go anywhere today, so I can rest what's left of my voice.
However, I had some books that needed to be taken to the library for renewal (as I had run out of automatic online renewals).

But first I got started with the washing, as Severn Trent are cutting off our water from 21.00-6.00 for the next couple of nights.

I left home, did my business at the library, and went on to Asda for some innocent smoothies (cheaper than usual this week).

My next port of call was to be Tesco, but first I decided that I'd like to fortify myself with a coffee (the first one of the day).
So I popped in to a new cafe near Asda, and ordered an espresso (in my whisper).

This should have been a simple transaction with me asking for an item, and placing the cash on the counter, then receiving the coffee without further ado.
I wasn't expecting anything more, least of all for the option of a strong emasculated drink.

So, at 12.15 I got to Tesco, and set off to get the couple of things that Asda don't sell.

Passing the vegetables, I saw a beautiful handknit hat passing by.
I whispered how much I liked it.

The lady not wearing the hat turned out to be Victoria Smedley (MoBair).

It was her hand-dyed handspun alpaca and silk mix in reds with a hint of acid green.

That really made my day!!