Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Munich Trip

Friday morning is almost here and we are off to Munich. We will be back May 6th.

I am armed with yarn shop addresses!

I am really looking forward to this trip.

My dear friend Niki, is going to be staying in the house with the dogs so I won't have to worry about them. Though I will of course. I will phone home every night to check on them.

A special note for my stalker: I am thrilled to see I am so important to you. Thank you so much for wishing me death. You might be lucky, I could fall off an Alp, though I wouldn't hold your breath. Besides, think how empty and sad your life would be if I should pop my clogs. We wouldn't want you to be empty and sad now, would we?

Finally Finished

I have completed my second Aran design at last. The yarn is Garn Studio's Alaska. I used 1950 metres(2132 yards). This was 26 x 50gm balls at 75m(82 yds) per ball. I used 5.5mm rosewood circular needles for the body and 3.75mm for the hems. The collar was knit entirely in the round. I like this yarn very much, and though it makes for a heavy sweater, it holds the texture well.

It cost approximately £50 ($90US) in yarn.I am pleased with it even tho it is much wider than I intended. I made an elementry mistake! I swatched and didn't wash the swatch. I should have. It all flattened out when I washed the sweater and thus was much wider than I wanted. As a result, the sleeves, modified drop, are too long. I have yet to decide if I shall keep it, though it is too big for me, or sell it. It took so long to do, I am loathe to sell it, though it seem silly to stick in a cupboard.
Below is an 80% Cashmere 20% nylon sweater I made for John to wear on the trip to Munich. He does not like collars to be near his neck. I had a difficult time making this becasue I don't like making stuff I don't like! However, he is pleased with the neck and as it turns out, so am I.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ectopic Heart Beat

An ectopic heart beat is when the electric pulse in you heart causes a different beat rythm and the beat comes form a different place in your heart. It is irregular and feels like a a sudden release of bubbles in your heart.

It is quite a horrid feeling. It comes and goes. Can go mths without it and then spend a week having it all day! I spent some time in the ICU because of it and then they explained to me it was harmeless -unless it went on too long.

Now no one told me how long too long was!

I have had it all morning tho it seems to be settling now.

Opal 6ply Sock Pattern

I used colour no. 1255.

I knit on 2 circs. You will need a 4.5mm needle, 2 x 2.5mm needles and 2 or 3 x 3mm needles.

Cast on 60 sts using 4.5mm needles and continental cast on. Join in circle.

Using 2.5mm needles, knit 24 rows in 2x2 rib.

Using 3mm needles knit 40 rows.

Working only on 30 sts on needle A:

Row 1: K 1, then K1 P1 to second last stitch, K1,

Row 2: P1, P1 K1 to second last stitch, P1.

Row 3: K1, P1 K1 to 2nd last st, K1

Row 4: P1, K1 P1 to 2nd last stitch, P1

Repeat these 4 rows until you have knit 20 rows, ending with a wrong side row.

Shape heel: S1, knit 19, SSK turn

S1 purl 10, P2Tog turn
S1 knit 10, SSk turn

Repeat these 2 rows untill all stitches are worked.

Heel Flap Pick Up: With another 3mm needle, pick up 18 sts along heel flap. Slide these sts onto the needle holding the shaped heel. Knit across instep sts. Now using a 3mm needle, pick up 18sts along heel flap.

Knit across the needle holding your heel and 1st set of picked up stitches. You now have heel sts and both sets of picked up sts on one needle. Knit across your sts on needle B.

Now knit the follwing rounds:

Round 1: knit

Round 2: Needle A(holds your heel) knit 1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, knit 1
needle B knit

Repeat these rounds until you only have 30 sts left on needle A.

Commence counting again. Knit 40 rows.

Shape toe:

Round 1: K1 SSK, knit to last 3 sts K2 tog. This is done on BOTH sets of sts.
Round 2: Knit

Repeat these rows until you 16 sts left. Turn sock iside out(from toe end) and use a 3 needles cast(bind) off.

Five Weeks Two Days

You'd look pee'd off too if you had 4 sets of sharp teeth chomping on your tits.
See, I told you we get pretty.
What is THAT you are pointing at me?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dutch Heel/Tibet Sock

Re comments on the Tibet Sock - it is knitted with Regia yarn. I only said I think it is called Tibet because of it's colouring which reminds me of the multicoloured ribbons you see all over Tibet. It is not knitted with ribbon.

Now for the Dutch Heel. It gives a square heel which I find looks good and fits well.

I knit my sock with 72 stitches. I knit the heel flap over 36 sts and 20 rows. Then I started to turn the heel as follows:

slip1, knit 23, SSK and turn.
Slip 1, knit 12 P2Tog, turn,
Slip 1 knit 12, SSK turn

Continue in this fashion until all sts have been worked.

My socks are knitted using the 2 circs method. I have not knitted using dpn's.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Aran Sweater

The yarn is Berlaine by Bergerac de France, 100% wool. The colour is Tilleul. Knitted on 3.75mm Rosewood circulars, with the hem done on Addi Turbo's 2.5mm.

The picture above is the beginning of the first sleeve.

I swatched and swatched yesterday trying to come up with a stich pattern I liked. I frogged at least six times!

I bought the yarn from Cucumberpatch.

Below is the schematic I designed to tell me where to set the sticthes. It also includes the shaping.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sock no 6

Opal yarn again. this one is particularly soft to the touch, same mix of 75% wool 25% Nylon. Although a 4ply, it is thicker than the others.

Dutch Heel -this is the only one I have done 'properly'. With the other ones, I had been doing a modified Dutch Heel without realising that what was I was doing!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I started a new group for sock knitters. you can join by sending an email to the address below. You do not need to write anything in the email.

Just copy and paste the above address into your email TO field.

You do not have to be in the UK to join.

Muenchen, Munchen, Munich

Yes three different spellings. Don't know why.

Anyway, on the 28th we leave for Munich. We will drive in a 'loop'. I was lucky as I was planning the route using Mapsource which is a very useful PC tool which came with my Garmin 2720. It turned out that the route I thought of to get there was the same distance as the route I chose for coming back.

We leave here on the 28th and sleep in Calais that night. On Saturday morning we start to drive to Saarbruken, which is the halfway mark to Munich. We stay there that night and on Sunday continue to Munchen. There we stay until Wednesday morning when we will drive up to Nurnberg(Nuremberg), only 100 miles away. Stay there Wednesday night and head for Koln(Cologne) to stay Thursday night and back to Calais for Friday night, arriving home on Saturday 6th May.

We may miss out the Nurnberg part, depending on what we do in Munich. I may well fancy driving into the Alps instead.

Hopefully, I will do a bit of shopping!!! I love traditonal Bavarian clothing for men and already own some shirts and jackets and shoes and would like some more. Of course there will also be yarn shops. Then there are galleries and museums etc

Prague turned out to be a dodgy destination for me. Hilly, cobbled, very little disabled facilities and upon talking with an aquaintance who visited last year, decided we really wouldn't go there. Not just for the lack of facilities tho that is reason enough I guess. He had stayed in the same square we had planned to stay and he said pickpockets and prostitutes were plentiful and one really had to watch oneself. Too much hassle really.

Still, I love Bavaria. Beautiful place. Am looking forward to it.

John is back for SA this coming Saturday, 15th.

I am designing another Aran but have not decided on the stitches yet. I have frogged my test piece several times now!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

At The Root of Evil

A while ago a person sent a request to one of the knitting lists for garments to be sent to a charity that takes care of orphaned Muslim children. A good cause you'd think.

No. It brought forth some of the most stupid and wicked posts I have ever read. The concensus seemed to be that no, they would not be doing anything to support Muslim child orphans as they would only grow up to hate us! I was gobsmacked at such unashamed wickedness. It seems they wanted these children dead because they were Muslim. In their wicked ignorance they see all Muslims as mad and bad. And they wonder why 'we' are so hated.

I see no diffrence between Xtian Fundies, Muslim Fundies, Jewish Fundies, Sikh Fundies, Hindu Fundies etc. All of them are warped, utterly self centred and wicked in their thoughts and actions. It is no surprise to me that a country so full of religious fundies should be the one so vociferous in it's hatred of all Muslims and so ignorant of the world in which they live.

Fundamentalism is a sickness our world needs to rid itself of. At it's root is fear and child abuse. It is no accident that these fundies insist on 'educating' their children and keeping them 'protected' from the rest of the world. They know only too well how children are easily molded. They understand that if you indoctrinate a child you are likely to end up with an adult who will espouse the cause unquestioningly. Instill fear of damnation, abandonment, rejection in a child and you get that child to do your bidding. That is child abuse. Mental, emotional and spiritual abuse and in many cases physical and sexual abuse. So many so called Xtians advocate the hitting of children. It has nothing to do with love. It is all about fear and control. Nothing else. Some Muslims know this too and we see the result of it.

I am not referring here to those people of all faiths who use their intelligence. Who know love and compassion and who do not fear their God. These people do not hate. They do not prostitute their God. They do not use their God to justify their wickedness.

We need to free ourselves of this fear. We need to stop abusing our children. We need to stop paying lip service to the idea that abusing children is wrong and act as if we really do believe child abuse is wrong. If we did that, and not just say the right words or be sentimental, child abuse would stop just like that. Child abuse happens because we as a society do not care about it. We only pretend to because it makes us appear to be what we are not - caring and compassionate. We don't see children as human beings like us. We see them as puppets to mold as we please.

We do things to them we would not dream of doing to an adult. In fact if we did to adults what we do to children we'd end up in prison! Imagine what would happen to a boss who spanked a member of his office staff! Imagine how an adult would feel if this happened to them. Angry, humiliated, shamed. Especially if people didn't stop it or condoned it! Why would a child feel any diffferent? The only reason adults say it 'didn't harm me' is because they shut off the anger and shame and pain. Why? Because society says we must never feel badly toward out parents! Only bad people feel negatively towards their parents. Honour Thy Mother and Thy Father, no matter what! And people wonder why children keep quiet! Why they don't say when they are being hit, molested, neglected etc. WE won't let them!

And we punish them if they dare to speak up. I know this to be true. Even as a 47 year old man, I am constantly harangued, abused, hated because I dare to speak up. People want people like me to shut up, to disappear. We are a thorn in their side. We keep shining a light into places they do not want to see or be seen. They want to keep their own suffering concealed thru shame and fear. Or they want to keep secret the abuse they are dishing out. Or they want to keep their power. Those who 'educate' children, who indoctinate them, who insist on faith based schools. Who insist on having total control over children. They want people like me, and there are many like me, to shut up, to disappear. And if they don't kill us, they belittle us instead. They label us as mad or deviant or so damaged that what we say should not be taken seriously because after all how could such a damaged person make any sense? They accuse us of self pity, of raging, of attacking, of being unstable, of being deficient and twisted. Anything. Anything. They will say and do anything to discredit us. We threaten them. Our words, our speaking out, threatens them, their power. The more they undermine us, the more they attack, the more they lie about us, the more threatened they are.

My own writing about this subject has brought more than one sick stalker my way. I get regular abusive emails or blog comments, vile and demented ones. It would be tempting to say these sick people must be abuse victims. Proably true. They turned and have become abusers. They have joined the problem. They are not abuse survivors . They are abusers. They identified with the abuser and followed their path. They took the easy road. Sad beyond words. However, my own reaching out is to those that did survive or are battling to, those that have not become abusers or who have chosen not to be, those who are doing what they can to break the cycle.
That is my interest. I know from the emails I get that people are being touched, that people are reading and some are prompted to share their secrets as a result. What a blessing that is.

Abuse is serious and can be deadly. Worst of all, it can turn what would have been a loving caring person into a monster. Whilst we must NEVER ever accept the unacceptable, we must also keep in mind that 'there but for the grace of God go I'.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I am getting good. Almost saintly. I have been baited a few times recently on one of my lists. The latest being tonight. I didn't take the bait any time. I am sure that annoys them even more. I guess they hope I'll just disappear. Truth is it has become easy to ignore the bait-I aint interested! Besides, I am sure there are other intelligent people on the list who see thru the baiters.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Random Thoughts

I have a boil. In a very awkward place. Right where my thing meets my buttock. I can't see it. I can feel it! (I have just re read this hours later and noticed my mistake. I'll tell you now that i have stopped laughing, that i meant to write THIGH!!!)Now perhaps if I was not half crippled, I could perform a contortion or two and see this boil in the mirror, and I could have a go at bursting it. I am sure it would be real mirror splatterer. It feels like it is. I have never been one for getting acne but have always occasionally developed a big spot or boil and it is one of lifes little pleasures(like farting in bed and putting your head under the covers) to squeeze them and watch them burst.

When I was a boy, last century, I used to think it odd that old people had such strange teeth. White, straight and a perfectly even smile that looked so false. I hadn't met any Americans then. Being a child, I didn't realise this look was caused by false teeth. I got slapped once, by my mother, for commenting on a neighbours teeth.(No Mother didn't just slap me once, that was just one of the times she did). Being naive, i had no idea what I' d said that was so naughty.
Now of course, you can have these sort of 'false looking' teeth at any age. Just pay a dentist to make you look unreal.

I saw Joan Van whatist breifly in some crappy flick on the tv. You know, her from Knot's Landing. Poor thing. I wonder how much she paid to look like that? Her lips and nose are very odd looking, like a burn victim remodelled. (If that is the case, well, good and I apologise). However, why doesn't someone tell these people they look awful? Deformed? If I were into girls,I would be afraid to kiss her, lest as I exrticated my tongue, half her face would come with it. Such a shame she spent so much money on having this done. Perhaps she is so old she can't see what the surgeon did. He should be sued. I wonder if one could sue her for being so stupid?

Joan Rivers. 70 odd. Emphasis on the odd. Someone else whose eyesight must be appalling. What a face! You can tell from the way she talks, she is afriad if she gets too animated, it'll all drop off.

Clint Eastwood and men in general. So vain! And stupid. Why? well a few years ago I saw one of his films(I was sick at the time) that he had directed. I can't recall the plot but the thing that got me was that here he was 70 thereabouts and playing 40 thereabotus with a 13 year old looking wife. Does he think we are stupid? Does he really think we won't notice this huge age gap? Does he think he looks 40? Now, if the the age difference was part of the plot, that would have been different. It wasn't. We were supposed to just believe this.

Now imagine Shirley Maclaine starring in a film with romantic plot and her man was 30 - 40 years younger? Can't can you? It wouldn't get made and if it did, we'd never hear the end of it. Old woman with much younger man. Unbelievable the critics would say.

Joan Collins-well yes I suppose she looks good for 70 plus-if you think looking like something produced by Mattel is good. All her character gone, her life map cut away.

'Because you're worth it' makes me sick. These ads by hair and beauty people just make me want to throw something at the tv. They really think women are so stupid. Mind you I guess if you are going to spend a small fortune on 'age defying' cream with extract of ' kangaroo placenta' or 'possum pee', you cosuld be classed as stupid or at least in need of therapy.

The women they use in these are not real anyway. They look different to the women they are aimed at. They were born that way! Not only that, they are farted about with, both before they get on camera, and then by the camera itself, before we get to see them. YOU are not going to look like that no matter how much dosh you spend on the product. Not unless you never go out without a makeup artist and also insist that the rest of us only ever look at you in good lighting and through a vaseline smeared lens!

Why are men getting wax jobs? Why do they want to look smooth? Like boys? Once hirsute-ness was something to be admired and envied. Now it is frowned upon and men are admonished for it and so they run to the hair remover to have it all ripped out. Ouch!

Many women object to being objectified and go around decrying what women go thru to please men or society as regards their looks? Quite right too. I'd have more faith in their position if they quit shaving their legs and armpits. Even radical separatist lesbian women do! Oooo, it runs deep.

Tibet Sock

This is made from Regia Tibet. So called, I imagine, because of the coloured ribbons to be found all over Tibet.
I used Addi Turbo's. Using 72 sts and 3mm for the continental cast on, 2.25mm for the ribbing and 2.5mm for the rest.
I used the Dutch Heel. Having used the short row heel on the last sock, I went back to this one. It fits better and looks better to me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fresh Out Of The Drier

This photo actually shows the real colour! 100% Mongolian Cashmere. 2 x 2/28's, tension 5 on SK 830. 61 cm(24") wide and 67 cm(26") long. Washed and tumble dried for 70 mins.
Set in sleeve. Decreased 2 sts at a time, 3 sts in.
Neck band with 2 x2 rib.

Ebay Again Again

I took a look at all the sweater listings on Ebay. Very few of them have bids or are selling.
So I think it must the time of year.

Looking at my records, I sold very well August to December. I didn't put anything on January or February or March.

So it would seem that is my time for selling and it gives me loads of time to knit them up so I can have more to sell.

This suits me as with my disabilty I can't knit like I used to and certainly can't under pressure.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


August is such a long way away. April 28th is much closer. That is the day we leave for Prague! All booked up.

We drive from here to the Chunnel, drive onto the train and 30 mins later we will be in Calais.

We will start to drive to our destination early on the Saturday morning. The trip is 700 miles from Calais. We will arrive in Prague on Sunday 30th.

I have booked an apartment instead of an hotel. We did this when we went to Gothenberg, Sweden and it is much more convenient. It is basically a self contained one bedroomed flat. This means we have plenty of room. We can also make our own coffee and food. It means I can nap and we can go back and forth as we please too. Apartments are much cheaper and we also save because we will not have to eat out 3 times a day.

The guide books I have read and the net all say car crime is rife in Prague. I discussed this with the people concerned. The woman was honest and said that it is true. Then she asked me what car I have(an 04 reg Skoda Octavia Estate). She told me it would be safe as it wasn't good enough to steal! Meaning, they only want Mercs and BMW's and such like! Not interested in a family car. Phew!

I have been in touch with a young American knitter there who will tell me all about the local knitting shops.

Monday, April 03, 2006

He Sure Is Ugly!

I told you, Dachshund puppies are ugly! Give him 3 weeks though and he will be drop dead gorgeous.

Ebay Again

I have had people comment that people go to Ebay looking for a bargain. Yes they do. However, when ti comes to knitwear and designer names, not necessarily so. I have seen M&S cashmere sell there for 80 plus pounds and other sweaters sell over the 100 pounds. So I don't think it is as simple as that.


People really piss me off with their attitude to 'labels' on clothes.

I offer my hand made excellent quality knitwear for sale on Ebay. I have just removed a load I had for sale. Why?

Well first week they didn't sell, I put them back on at a lower price. Then when i thought about it, I decided to hell with it and removed them altogether.

I sold very well between August and December last year. I shall wait until then to put my stuff on Ebay. Gives me plenty of time to knit them.

Anyway, back to attitudes and labels. I have seen second hand, crap made and crap cashmere selling for big big money on Ebay. Don't these people have any sense of quality? NO THEY DO NOT. They just bid high because of the NAME.

Yet my highest quality cashmere either gets no bids or low ones.

Doesn't make sense.

Cambridge Day Out

We went to Cambridge yesterday. In order to get used to using my new chair. It was a good day. No cross words! I am getting used to having no control over it, which is the main reason for going out with it yesterday.

I chose Cambridge because it has cobbled streets and pavements and uneven surfaces. John had no problems pushing me.

It took ages to find somewhere to eat as everywhere we tried had seating either upstairs or downstairs. Many of the shops also were out of bounds because of steps.

However, parking was easy. With my new Blue Badge I was able to use the Disabled Only spots and as a result we parked right where we wanted to-near the central market, just a minute away.

It was a good day. John bought a jacket and some trousers for his SA trip. He leaves in the morning.

I had a good look thru Borders knitting book section but found nothing of interest there. I also didn't find a yarn shop. just as well really!

We did by 1 kg of coffee beans from Cafe Nero. We had coffee there and I loved it, hence the beans.

I have one of these Gaggia Sychronicity automated coffee machines. Put beans in the top, and water in the reservoir, press a button and out comes an expresso just like in the cafes. I adore it. I only got into this when we started traveling around the mainland 4 years ago. I couldn't bear to come back to instant Nescafe. Now, I never drink coffee at meetings or anyone's home or out unless it is the real stuff. I tick to tea! I drink mine the way the Germans and Belgians tend to-with evaporated milk-just 25mls in mug. Lovely.

French coffee is awful. Germany's is good. Sweden's is the best. Spanish was terrible. Belgium and Holland awful too. Luxembourg's was good. This in both restaurants and service stations. Denmark's is the worst along with the food in the service stations. Ickety ick!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sock No5

I knit this with 72sts using two circs. I cast on, long tail(not thumb) with 3mm, knit the 40 rows of 2x2 rib with 2.25mm and then knit 60 rows st st with 2.5mm, knit the short row heel then knit 60 rows before toe shaping, then cast off inside out.

The yarn is by Opal and is a Limited Eedition Hand Dyed 75% wool 25% nylon.