Monday, October 30, 2006


This is Nechung. She will be 9 years old on December 6th. She is neutered. She is also the mother of Micah and Moonlight Serenade. Picture taken with Sony Alpha 100 DSLR outside in RAW mode, using a 70-210mm telephoto lens.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tantra's Moonlight Serenade


Stitch detail.

This is very close to the colour of the yarn. Completed front. My own design.
Tilly's son and daughter at 29 days, tucking in.

Sony Alpha 100 Digital SLR Camera

These pictures were all taken with a Sony Alpha 100 (DSLR) str8 out of the box. No fiddling, just took the pics to see how it did. No trouble focusing and good close ups. Apart from the garden shot, all were taken in dark room with a flash.

The sweater is done on the Passap 6000 using OX/N. I love this stitch formation and it makes large size sweaters easily. The yarn is 2x 2/28's merino.

Close up of stitch formation.

This is Tilly the Miniature Longhaired Dax aged 4.5 years.
This is Nechung, a Lhasa Apso, aged 9 now and speyed and retired to our bed.
A quick shot of our back garden. Just after I took this the wind got up and the heavens opened. The weather man said it would be sunny and warm....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hand Knit Socks and Passap Sweater

For a better of view of all pictures, click on the picture to see larger size.Opal 75% wool and 25% silk yarn. Dutch heel used. 2mm for the ribbing and 2.25mm for the body. I really like the feel of this yarn. Wearing them now.

The yarn is 96% wool and 4% lycra. 2/24 used double. Made for a very heavy sweater! Almost 1kg(2.2lbs). I used N/N for hems. The main body uses tech 180 but with lock at set to FX and pushers in 1up 1 down formation.

This is the beckband on the FX sweater. I prefer the neckband on the sweater below. The sweater below was done using just one strand of same yarn and using a tuck stich pattern in the console.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Faux Pas

Many years ago, whilst doing a public talk, one of the people in the audience mentioned that she had trouble getting to sleep at night. She obvioulsy needed to relax.

(Bear in mind that I kept many cats, I bred exhibition Persians.)

My response to her was: 'When I go to bed, I find stroking my pussy very relaxing.'

I tried very hard to pretend that I had not said it. I could feel my face burning and my mouth desperately wanted to laugh. My discomfort only lasted a matter of seconds before the whole auditorium exploded with laughter.

Now here in the UK, it is very common for people to refer to their cats as 'pussy' or 'puss puss' so it was not unusual that I had. It was just the situation and the context that made it sound like it did.

I have a habit of saying things that aren't quite what I meant.


I have almost finished a pair of socks, the yak hair sweater and a merino /cashmere sweater. And I am on the back now of the aran, the front having been finished.

The yak-hair has the front and back and collar complete and half the first sleeve.

Really haven't had much time recently.

Went out to a craft fair today. Decided to make the effort. Got myself dressed nicely, had everything sorted, and arrived at the venue-only to find it was next weekend! And I can't go then as I have a dog show.

Still, at least I went! ;-)

There was a time all I needed to do was shave. Now I still shave but have to shave more than before. Ears and nose seem to sprout with age. Oh and eyebrows too, which Sue deals with when she cuts my hair.

I can't get thru the night without having to pee at least once and given my condition, that can be rather difficult at times. I often worry I'll get stuck on the way there or on the way back! Getting dressed can be so dangerous, I often don't bother. I wear a nightshirt-easy to deal with. I just get it over my head and it drops down and covers the bits it is meant to. Really makes sitting on the loo less of an ordeal. If I am dressed and need to sit on the loo, well, I have to make sure I give myself plenty of time to get the clothes down and to sit. That is the easy part. Getting up is more of a challenge. I pull myself up using the radiator and sink for balance. Clever huh? Well, the trouble is then my trousers are still down by my ankles. I can't bend to pull them up. So I sit back down, and using one hand on the radiator to steady me, I use the other to grab my trousers and pull them up, sort of, almost, after a fashion. Then I stand back up. Only I had to let go of my trousers in order to stand up, and try as I might to keep my legs wide apart so they do not fall back down, it doesn't work. So back to the floor they go. Eventually, I just yell to John.

Now of course, I spend most of time alone so what do i do? Hold it in for 5 days? Not exactly. Well, as mentioned before, I wear a night shirt. This makes life easy. I am also fairly predictable and want to go first thing after waking-after my coffee and fag and feeding the dogs-so not so much of a problem. Now if I know I am going to be away or out or something, and going would really be a problem, I take plenty of codiene. Codiene stops me up! See, an answer to everything. It was either stay in or buy some adult Pampers!

One of life's biggest fears for me is needing to poo when it is not convenient! When John is not there to make sure I can dress again. The good thing about codeine is that it works for as along as you take it and stops working within half a day of stopping. You just have to plan it well.

Bathing - well that is out of the question - unless John is here and even then I don't have a bath. I just get in and use the shower. If I should fall, well John is there to stop me. Getting in is not so much of a problem. Getting out is. So for 5 days a week, I use lots of eau de cologne......kidding-I make do with squishy things I can use standing up.

Life is never dull.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Whether knit by hand or by machine, why would anyone spend time and effort knitting, and perhaps desigining, a garment only to fail at the finish line?

I really don't know.

I don't think it helps that publications show photographs of their designs that have been so poorly put together! In the knitting magazines I get, many of the garments look as if someone just cobbled the garment together at the last minute!

Shame on them for not caring enough about the design and the knitter and the customer. It seems to give the impression that we do not need to finish our garments well. After all, they are just homemade sweaters or whatever after all!

The finish of the garment makes all the difference!

I get so tired of hearing knitters, hand and machine, bemoan the fact they hate to finish. They hate to sew. So they find the quickest route-either joining on machine or using a sewing machine or overlocker(serger) or just doing a haphazard quick backsewing hand job! So their hard work in doing the knitting is let down by their sloppy, couldn't be bothered attitude to the finishing of it. Yes, it can take longer to finish a machine knit than it took to knit the pieces. So what? Don't you want it to look good?

Of course, when one looks in the shops, even the famous expensive boutiques, all one sees is badly put together clothing. So maybe we think it doesn't matter. IT DOES!!!

Our homemade clothing does not have to look like crap only to be worn under cover of darkness! Knitting is an ART FORM and we can do it justice by putting in the effort. Perhaps we just want things NOW and can't really be arsed to do the job properly.

Think about it-why spend a small fortune on the best quality yarns, the nicest patterns, or design our own, and then not give it our all?

Beats me!

I will write about actual finishing techniques when I can be bothered! ;-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

First Time

Just a quicky to say that the pups ate their first meal this evening.


It has been 7.5 weeks since I returned home from our trip to find my home and dogs in a mess and discovered that the person whom I considered my closest friend was far from a friend. In fact not even a good person.

I wish I could say I am over it. I am not. I am still very angry. Not hurt anymore. I didn't lose anything. I didn't have what I thought I had at all.

I realise now that I was 'groomed' by this person over a long period of time. Groomed. Just like the peado teacher when I was a child. And that wasn't the only time. I was young and vulnerable and therefore an obvious target for such people to groom.

Trouble is, I was 46 when this person set their sight upon me. You'd think I would have recongnized it. I didn't. Not for an instant did I even suspect anything untoward was happening.

We met at a group I used to attend. We all had similar experiences and we talked about that and how we dealt with it today. I used to enjoy going and looked forward to it, especially after I had become close with this woman.

Through the talking at this group, this person would have known exactly what my vulnerabilities were. Which buttons to press and which buttons not to press. She was very good. She was patient. It took months of work on her part before I let her into my life. She made all the effort. She always greeted me with a smile and something nice to say. Didn't fawn or go over the top. She was careful.

Throughtout our 'relationship' I felt I had the sister I had always wanted. I felt completely at ease with her. She told me her 'secrets, and eventually I told her mine. I doubt hers were true.
There was never any friction between us. She was always smiles and compliments and when she started to 'care' for me she seemed to intuitivley know what I would need and when to leave me be. Of course, I started to pay her to do the things I can't do for myself. Once a week or so we went out for day. I really enjoyed that. She would manouver my wheelchair and was good at it. Never made me feel a burden. She was very good at caring and fun and I loved her.

I didn't know she was a consumate lier.

Well if you have been following this, you will know that I returned from my holiday early and caught her out. She was not what she had seemed at all. Far, far from it. She didn't give a flying f**k about me. She cared about money and about her image as a kind, caring person in the eyes of others(who I found out were under the impression she did all she did for me for free.) I am not the only one she 'cared' for either and got paid for it. I assume she still does.

It is so obvious I was groomed. I am shocked that I fell for it. I really didn't see it coming. Not at all. I am now almost 48 and it seems still a sucker. It really pisses me off. Big time.

Apart from going to the dog shows, I have been pretty isolated Monday to Friday when John is not here. He hasn't been here for 10 days and I won't see him until this Friday now. Work's been busy. It's good for him though. He has been to premiers and dinners and tonight he gets to meet a load of really famous people. Anyway, I digress.

The isolation is me. I just don't feel I want to be 'out there' and I certainly don't want much to do with people right now. Some people have shown kindnesses and done odd things and I thank them but keep them at a distance. How the hell do I know who I can trust? My 'intuition' was good, I thought. I have avoided people and places, rightly so, because my gut told me to be careful. And yet I did not see this coming at all.

I don't go to my group anymore either. I miss it but I would never feel able to talk there again. Or anywhere for that matter. Particularly there tho. In this last 7.5 weeks not one person has telephoned to ask why I am not there or how I am. I know at least a few know what has happened. So much for caring.

I know given time, the anger will go. I know I will recover from the emotional turmoil. I know enough and have experienced enough to know that this will pass. However, I cannot imagine ever trusting again. I went to visit a dog person a few days ago. It was nice. I found myself feeling comfortable with them and enjoying myself. I left because it frightened me and all the 3 hour drive home, I wondered if I could trust this person.

It boils down to me trusting me and I don't see how I can do that. I let myself down very badly.
I can't trust myself to protect myself. I can't trust myself to see wolves in sheeps clothing. I can't trust myself to see through the bullshit.

I grew up knowing I couldn't trust the adults around me. Yet it didn't stop me trusting others when I got away and was older. And yes, I made mistakes and put my trust in those I should hot have. None of them were like this one tho. Besides, I was pretty screwy back then. I didn't know myself and didn't understand anything and had not even begun to reover form the abuse of childhood. Now at 48, well and functioning, it seems I still cannot trust myself to not put myself in harms way.

I don't know how this will pan out. No man is an island. I know that. I also know I cannot see how I can form relationships with people now without always being on my gaurd and wondering if they are genuine or out for themselves.

On the positive side, I have not taken myself to bed and stayed there in a fit of self pity. I have got on and done what I can. I have attended my shows. I have fulfilled my responsibilities re the dogs and am still finding great joy with them. I am knitting, mainly by hand, tho not much. My creative juice seems to be on dribble right now. I am reading and watching stuff I enjoy. I am not a wreck. I am still grateful for what I have got, still aware of how fortunate I am. But i am still angry and wondering how I will deal with this trust issue.

Over and out.

20 Days

These are Tilly's puppies, now 20 days old and doing well. The boy is 616gms(22ozs) and the girl is now 504gms(18ozs). I am very surprised the girl has made it and I see no reason now why she shouldn't continue to grow and do well. I won't feel we are out of the woods though until she is weaned. I am pleased to say she appears normal in every way. She only has a bottle a couple of times a day now.
Here is the girl, lying on a yak hair swatch!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This shows the set in sleeve head I do. Good fit. Some call it a 'semi raglan' but to me it is more like a set in in fit and look. The figures represent sts and rows. Click on picture to see much larger view.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

KIP Proof

Just to prove that I do knit in public. No idea who took the photo but it appeared in my inbox today.
Not knitting, but this is me in the left corner, at the 50th Anniversary show of The Lhasa Apso Club yesterday, 8th October.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


This little girl is a stubborn little thing. She is 10 days old at 7am Saturday morning and now weighs in at 8.8 ozs. She ought to have died. She took the bottle twice today but none at all on Wednesday or Thursday. I keep expecting her to wither away but she isn't doing that. I still can't say she will make it because I just don't know. I have never had a puppy do this before. They have either died within a couple of days or they take the bottle and soon catch up. Or they have had something obvious wrong with them. This girl has nothing obvious wrong, is gaining but very slowly, and is strong.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Week

The pups are one week old today.

The girl is now holding her own. She was weighed this morning and had gained weight overnight.

I have a major Championship show tomorrow with Moon. Have yet to decide if we are going. John has the day off to stay with the dogs but if the pup needs feeding I need to be here.

I will make up my mind this evening.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Six Days

The pups are 6 days old. The girl is doing better now and weighs 7.4 ozs. You can see how much bigger the boy is. She has taken the bottle twice today. Fingers crossed.
Not well focused but this is for Carole who asked to see one before their eyes open.


The little girl took another feed tonight, just as I am off to bed. She had maintained her weight since the morning feed. This feed was 13 hours after that one so she is doing fine. I think the formula has given her the strength to do the work on Mum's tits. Also, I think I happened to get her when she was hungry. Will see how she is when I wake up.

In case anyone should need to know this at some point: I feed 1 ml of formula per one ounce of body weight. So a 7 oz puppy gets 7mls per feed.(obviously the amount of formula goes up as the puppy gains weight). The feeds are every two hours for the first week, 24/7, then every 3-4 hours for the next week, and they can go 6 hours at night without a feed during this second week. Once the eyes are open they get small amounts of meat which has been blended in a blender with formula. I stop bottle feeding by 4 weeks.

Oh and most importantly, use a human newborn baby bottle and teat. The ones they make for puppies are crap-they are too fast, too soft and kill puppies because the formula gets into their lungs.

I raised whole litter of 4 pups this way and they all gained weight as if they were being fed by Mum, who in this case had no milk at all for them.

The formula I use is made by ROYAL CANIN and is excellent.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dax Puppy

The little girl puppy lost weight from 8 ozs to 6.3 ozs the first 24 hrs. I wasn't too concerned but when she didn't gain the next 24 hrs, I started to worry. I made up formula(Royal Canin-excellent stuff) and she refused it. Put up quite a struggle. Finally today , day 5, she looked like she wouldn't make it. Obvioulsy dehydrated. Again refused the formula. Then i tried again at 10.30 am and this time she drained the bottle in seconds. Now she weighs 7ozs(198 gms) 9 hours later. So the formula gave her the strength she needed to get the milk from her mum. It takes a lot of work on the part of pups to get the milk bar going. They have to kneed with their front paws and suck hard and bob their heads back and forth. All takes energy. Not out of the woods yet, but I feel more confident she will make it now. I have tried feeding her a few more times and she refused. When she says no she means it. You wouldn't believe how strong these tiny creatures are.

When I Die.....

...I want to have answers to many burning questions. Like why is the Universe here? What is it about? Why are we here? For what purpose? All the usual questions. But most of all, I want to know why birds choose to walk across the road in front of my car when they can f***ing fly.