Saturday, March 31, 2007


I was with the characters CJ and the President in an episode of The West Wing (at least I assume it was an episode).

The President was addressing a large group of people and CJ was standing by his side. I appeared to be standing behind them both tho I am sure I was not visible to anyone.

A man in the crowd, who was seated and dressed differently to everyone else, suddenly called out, very calmly. 'I love you'.

Switch to another scene.
The President is relating this story and is very moved by it. I could feel how moved he was. It was as if I was feeling his feelings.

I asked him if this was real or was he acting? (Because I knew it was Martin Sheen and not the President).

At that moment, a group of people could be heard giggiling and making fun of this 'I love you' incident.

I was about to do something or other when I awoke and I heard very clearly:

'I am a Buddhist monk and I love you.'

Now what was that all about? I have my own view. Maybe you have yours?

Bavarian Twist Sock Pattern

I used Subeam's St Ives, a 4ply yarn(sock) giving 200yds (182mt) to 50gm.

The gauge is 8.5sts and 12 rows to 1 inch or 34st 48 rw to 10cm(4") using 2.5mm needle.

I used 1 long circular needle.

This sock fits me well and I have a 10" long and round foot. Even my ankle is 10".

Cast on 72 sts using Continental Cast On and 3.25mm circular needle. Make join when cast on done.
Switch to 2.5mm needles and knit 24 rows of 2x2 ribbing.

Using one long circular you have 36 sts on each 'side'. You knit the pattern on each side. It is a ten row repeat.

Round 1:

K1tb, P 15 TB2B(place next st onto cable needle, hold at back, knit next stitch thru back of stp, p 1st), K2TB, TB2F(place next st onto cable needle sand hold at front, P1st, then K1st thru back of st), P15 K1TB.

Repeat above for second 'side'

Round 2: K1TB, P15, K1TB,P1, K2TB, P1, K1TB, P15 K1TB.

Round 3: K1TB, P14, TB2B, P1 K2TB, TB2F, K1TB

Round 4: K1TB, P14, K1TB, P2, K2TB, P2, K1TB, P14, K1TB.

Round 5: K1TB, P13, TB2B, P2, K2TB, P2, TB2F, P2, K1TB

Round 6: K1TB, P13, K1TB, P3, K2TB, P3, K1TB, P13, K1TB

Continue in this manner until 10 rounds have been knit.

You can see that the TB2B and TB2F are moved over one stitch on every odd round(1,3,5 etc) and not moved on every even(2,4, 6 etc) round.

Knit 6 repeats, ie. 60 rows.

Now knit a Sherman Heel.

My version differs from both Mary and Janine. I do as Janine does in that I also slip the 1st sticth after the pivot row. However, I leave my 36 sts on each side as they are and I do not do any wrapping whatsoever.

Once the heel is complete, I continue knitting st st on the sole side, and the pattern on the top side.

Knit 70 rounds.

Shape toe: quit knitting pattern and knit in st st only. No purling!

Round 1: (first side)
k1, SSK, knit 30, k2tog, k1.

Repeat for 2nd side.

Round 2 and 3; knit all sts

Round 4: (1st side) K1, SSK, K28,K2tog, K1 Repeat for second side.

From round 10, decrease on every other row until you have knit 24 rows and have 11 st on each needle. Knit one more row.

Turn sock inside out and cast off as follows:

Place needles side by side, with sts right up near tip of each needle.

Using a 3 rd needle, take 1st st from needle nearest you, onto 3rd needle.

Now take 1st stitch off second needle onto 3rd needle. Now pass the 1st stitch over the 2nd stitch.

Continue in this manner until all stitches are on needle 3.

You should only have 11 sts on needle 3.

Using a larger needle, cast off as usual.

NOTE: There will be 'ladders' up the sides. These are part of the pattern, they ought to be there!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Man's Hubris

* The climate is changing! The 10 hottest years on record have
occurred since 1990. In fact 2005 was the hottest year since record

And it always will change. Why should the earth stop being the earth just because it inconveniences us?
Man, in his typical arrogance, now thinks he can control the climate.


Anyone who has done even the smallest study of geography/science at school knows that our climate has always changed.

Pollution is another matter entirely, and yes we need to change the way we do things. But don't lets kid ourselves that we can stop the way the earth works!

Why are we all not thinking about this? Why can't we see that we are being lied to?

More tax anyone?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bavarian Type Sock

Knitted with 2.5mm circular needle. Pattern made up as I went. Yarn is 80%wool 20% nylon, 4ply by Sirdar. Less than 50 gms for this sock.
I normally knit the ribibng on 2mm and the body on 2.25mm but I boobed and was half way thru the ribbing when I realised I was using 2.5mm. So I stuck with that and didn't change for the body.
Top view. Heel, sole and toe knit in st st only.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Men Behaving Badly

Or in this case, one man, namely me.

I have been so good too. Thru prayer and meditation I have kept myself calm. Not allowed my mind to escalate things regarding my lump. No panic. Sleeping well. Getting on with my stuff. Pretty amazing really. I was a frightened wreck when the Dr looked so seriouly upon examining my lump but I have handled it thru the above mentioned means.

Until today that is.

I had to go to the dr's surgery to pick up a prescription. I got there, with difficulty due to traffic, to find all the disabled bays taken by non disabled drivers. I kept quiet. I asked for my prescription and was told the chemist had it on the other side of town. I left and as I was doing so, I saw one of the non disabled people getting into their car. I resisted saying anything.

I arrive at the chemist. Now outside the chemist there are two parking bays. On one side is a driveway and on the other a pedestrian crossing. As I arrived, a woman was in front of me and she just stopped her car so that she was parked in the middle of these two bays, leaving no room for another car.

I rolled down my window, and politely asked;

'Would you move forward, please?'

Out of the car got this 'footballer's wife' type, fake tan, streaks, high heels, the works. She looked at me as if I were something she had just trodden in and said:


Before I even had time to think, I had exploded and yelled at her.

'You selfish ****!!!!!'

I hobbled off to the chemist and there she was bold as brass, mouthing off at me about having sworn at her. I apologised. Twice in fact.

'You are quite right, I should not have spoken to you in that manner, I apologise. However, I did ask you politely to move your car forward and you refused point blank. I was angry at your selfishness. However, I should not have sworn at you.'

'I have never been called **** in my life, ' she wailed.

I resisted the urge to say the words that came into my mind, namely;

'I bet you have!'

She just went on.

'I can do no more than apologise,' I say. 'All you had to do was move your car a few feet before you got of it.'

'Well I am not apologising. If my husband was here.....'

By this time I had been given my drugs by a chemist who was trying hard not to laugh and I left thinking how good her husband would look beating up on a cripple! And if he was like her , he would not have given that any thought.

I should not have sworn at this woman, that is clear. I behaved badly. I am so taken aback by how quickly I went into one. I had no time to catch myself, or think, or anything. I wasn't even feeling bad. However, lose it I did. Up I went like volcano. It was the way she looked ta me and said no that did it.

And I was so good to have kept my thought to myself when she wailed about no one ever having called her a **** before.....

Low Carb Breakfast/Meal

A handful of prawn/shrimp

1 salmon steak

2 eggs(free range for preference)

a small onion/shallot

a little garlic
a little black peper

a little Parmesan cheese

10ml oil

Heat the oil in pan. Put in the onion, garlic, salmon(which you have cut into small pieces), and the shrimp. Cook through.

Beat up the two eggs and pour over the mixture (pan should be HOT). Make sure it has spread through. Now grate a little parmesan on top.
Ready when Parmesan has melted.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

On The Needles

New Aran design. The yarn is Jaeger's Shetland which is 80% wool and 20% alpaca. Knittid on 4.5 mm needles.

New sock design. Actually my first design, having just knitted the multicolour type previously. This is a Bavarian style one, using twisted stitches.

Dog Days

John who will be 60 on the 8th April. I caught him unaware as he hates having his picture taken. We had just got back from walking the dogs.
Shameless - Micah's daughter at 17 weeks.
Nechung - mother of Micah and Moon, 9years and 3 mths.
Luna showing her 6.5 weeks pregnant tummy. Micah is the father of forthcoming littter.
Moon smiling for the camera. Moon might be pregnant as a the result of her Northern Honeymoon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Feeling Cold

I went to the doctor this afternoon becasue I found a lump on my right testicle. I will be having a scan on it next week

I have been feeling frozen since and can't seem to get warm.

Reply To Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:

Accepting the fact that abuse in your childhood is not your fault is challenging enough by itself. How does one deal with dreams of the abusers that continue to resurface year after year? If I could find some resolution to this I will have succeeded in my life overcome the abuse.

In my experience such dreams will never go away. In the five years I spent in therapy, I learned that I would not be cured but that i would learn to live with my past and live well. I was also told that the bad periods and bad dreams would become less intense and less frequent. I have found that to be the case.

I still get nightmares/terrors. Not so often and not so brutal. I do find they can be triggered by something I see or hear or by just seeing someone that reminds me or by being teated in a similar fashion. Hence my reactions to events today can be overblown because it triggers the past.

I have days, not so frequent, when I feel vulnerable, afraid and sad. On those days, I have little interaction with others. Not because I wish to hide but because I need to take care of myself and also because being in that space can cause my thinking and reactions to be shaky. Everybody can become the enemy. I have especially learned, mostly, to keep email responses to the minimum!!!

And in response to the person who wrote that accpeting the abuse was not their fault made them feel helpless.

YES!!! Which is why many of us carry the blame. As long as we blame ourselves we can believe that we had power and if only we had been different or done somthing different the abuse would not have happened. Of course, this is a necessary defence mechanism for the child. As children we cannot cope with the knowledge that we are powerless. As adults, such thinking harms us greatly. The realisation of our powerlessness is of such enormity that the grief it produces is almost overpowering.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alpaca Finished

To recap, this is made from 100% Alpaca, Drops by Garnstudio.

I used 4mm needles for the body with the yarn doubled. I used 3mm needles for the 4x4 ribbing. I used ADDI turbo circulars. The garment weighs 980 grams or 2lb 3 oz's.

The design is my own. Very simple. I knit the body up to the colour change in the round. The sleeves were also knit in the round using the Magic Loop method. I picked up along armhole and knit down.

I knit the cuffs separately as I cannot abide cast off edges. I used my own way of doing a three needle cast off. I have two needles side by side, right sides of garment facing each other. I then use a 3rd thinner needle to take off one stitch from each needle onto the 3rd needle. I then slip one st over the other. Once this is done, I use a much larger needle (6mm) to cast off in the usual way. I do shoulders in the same way. In fact, I use this any time I need to join, like on arm bands or cardigan front bands.

This sweater was one of the easiest to knit and one of my favourites. I 'made it up' as I went along. I had cast on and started to knit it in the round, with no idea where I would be going with it. I am pleased with the direction it took. The tension was 22sts and 37 rows to 10cm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gone For Good

It seems to me that, in general, people do not get what abuse does to a child.

Not only that, they don't realise that the damage is permanent.

When a child is abused, his or her sense of innocence is gone for good.

When a child is abused, his or her sense of security is gone for good.

When a child is abused, his or her childhood is gone for good.

When a child is not loved their sense of wholeness is gone for good.

It is not something that can be altered, changed, or lessened.


The effects can be lived with and lived with well.

The hole remains.

Added:And hopefully sometime in your life, you accept what happened, and recognize you were a child and not in control. It was not your fault, but the fault of the abuser(s).

Oh the years I've missed in not learning that. May my remaining ones be better for the learning.

I agree completely with the person who wrote this in the comments section.

My point is that no matter what the work done on oneself, no matter how one understands that abuse is never the victims fault, some things cannot be undone.

Put in another way: say someone chops off your leg.

You can come to terms with it.

You can learn to live very well with just one leg.

You can even get a prosthetic leg.

You can forgive the chopper.

You can fully understand that the chopping off of your leg was not your fault.

However, you are still minus a leg!

And you will never, ever, not ever, be the person you might have been with two legs.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Something Odd

I did something odd today.

It is Mother's Day and I bought flowers for my mum. They are on the bay window sill in a nice new glass vase.

My mum died April 10th 2004 and I hadn't seen her for many years. She wasn't a good mum. I never bought her flowers whilst she was alive. I didn't even know where she was for 10 years. I didn't know she had died until July 05 . I found out one night whilst surfing the net.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Magic Loop

I decided to knit the sleeves from the top down, using the Magic Loop method, i.e. one long circular needle. Simple to do. I also knit the body up to the armhole in the round. My tension does not alter whether I knit flat or round. However, in this instance it would not have mattered as the pattern would have been the same-1 row knit and 1 row knit 4 purl 4.
Yes I am back from my honeymoon. A whole month away. And I shagged for a whole week too, the last week. Now I have this wonderful new 'Britney' hair do. What you think?
I had a bath this morning. I then went and dug around in a garden pot. Great fun. And you wonder why I am named Shameless!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Place your choice of meat in the slow cooker. Beef brisket is good.

In a fry pan place 30 mls (2 table spoons) of oil, Olive is good. Heat on low. Add to this the following:

1tsp ground corriander
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground tumeric
.5 tsp ground nutmeg
.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tblesp of fresh ginger or one tsp of ground.
2 tble spoon of fine chopped garlic
4 whole cardoman seeds and 4 whole cloves.
Put in fresh red or green chillies according to taste.

Let this fry gently till well mixed up.

Now back to the meat in the slow cooker. Put in veggies, celery, green peppers, courgette(zucchini), leeks, onions and I would use some frozen mixxed veggies, the small kind, that mixes peas and sweetcorn and carrot.

Cover with half a cup red wine and water. Now put in the stuff from the frying pan. Add a couple of bay leaves. Also add about half a pint of sieved tomatoes. Salt to taste.

Stir up and leave to cook all day or overnight.

What I do is make a few dishes this way, and I place them in those plastic boxes that are airtight, and freeze them. I get about 7 meals from each cooking.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Alpaca and Lunar Eclipse

Not complete and will have drop sleeves. The yarn is Drops Alpaca,by Garnstudio, used double and knitted on 4mm needles. Feels wonderful and is heavy but not overly so. I did this because I bought 3 kgs of the yarn in 3 cols and decided I really did not like it knit singly, unless I knit on 2mm needles! Hence the two colours used on this sweater.
I only decided on this collar as I got near to front neck shaping. I made it up as I went along, but knew what I had in mind. I am quite happy with this. I used 3.25 mm for the 4x4 rib, as I did with the hem.
I was rather surprised this came at as a picture at all. I couldn't see thru the viewfinder! It shows the beginning of the lunar eclipse experienced a few nights ago, maybe a whole week ago...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chicken Casserole

Take one whole chicken. Stick it in a slow cooker(6.5 litre one i.e. large). Chuck in celery, onions, leeks, loads of garlic, a handful of herbs, courgettes(zuchini), and a couple of green peppers. A cup full of red wine. A little sea salt and some black pepper. Cover with water and leave to cook for many hours(at least 6hrs).

You can do this in a large saucepan or a pressure cooker. You will then have to watch it! In the pressure cooker you will need to let it cook for 2hrs and you will need to top up the water. In a suacepan you will need to simmer for about 6 hours and you will have to top up with water.

This will serve 7 meals. It is cheap too.

Slow cookers and much more convenient and also energy saving, both for you and fuel.

Low Carb

Are you a fat git? Do you struggle constantly with food?

I did for many many years too. I read all sorts of stuff about how to eat normally and remain healthy. I took all sorts of medical advice. None of it helped. In fact, much of it was ignorant clap trap.

This is how I deal with it now and what I found out. I do not intend to get into discussion about it. If it helps you fine, if it makes you angry, deal with it. This works for me.

Until i was 30, I kept slim by starving and binging. I'd go as long as possible without eating(maybe 3 days) and then I would gorge. Then I'd starve again.

Why? Because I knew that if I ate, I would not be able to stop until I had eaten far too much food. I knew once I started to eat, I would eat until I was sick. if I had a slice of bread, I knew I would eat the whole loaf. One biscuit, and the packet would be gone.

What i didn't know was this: it was the eating of carbs that caused this. I didn't know that I didn't eat carbs in the first place, such cravings would disappear. It does NOT matter for my body whether the carbs are refined or not, the effect is the same.

I discovered this because I complained that I always felt tired, hungry, and bloated. I complained that when I ate, I wanted more and then I fell asleep. Even if I had eaten a normal portion of food, if it contained carbs, I would fall asleep. I was very moody. I would get the 'shakes'. I also had constant diarrhoea and acid reflux.

Thru email, it suggested to me to try the Atkins diet. My doctor recommend it when i spoke with her. It seems my surgery's doctors all recommended it.

I DO NOT follow the Atkins diet but I did at first and discovered a way to eat that suits me.

Firstly, I followed the Atkins diet. Even though I felt absolutely awful the first week, I kept at it because I knew there was no other way for me. I could not continue the way I was before.

After a week, I awoke feeling the best i had ever felt. John, who did not know what I was doing, noticed I looked really well and my complexion had changed. He said I was 'glowing'.

The tiredness, the bloat, the diarrhoea, the acid all stopped. This I did not expect. By the way, I had been a vegetarian for over 20 years so this was a big step for me.

After a while, I had lost 100lbs in weight. I felt much better in every way. I also dropped the Atkins diet in it's pure form. Oh and I dropped from 8.8 to 4.7 in my cholesterol count. Which is from 325 to 174 for the USA.


I eat loads of veggies. At least 1lb a day.(no potato, corn, parsnip, etc) I eat any meat and fish. I do not eat much fat. I eat a little dairy.

It is the protein that keeps one satisfied, not the fat.

Of course, I sometime find my self wanting to eat the foods I know will make me ill. And I have slipped and eaten them and payed the price.

Most importantly, I quit making excuses and feeling resentful that I could not eat those foods I like and that others seem to eat and have no problems with.

From experience I know that many people will not follow this eating pattern. They will make excuses. They will balk at the idea of not eating bread or cake or rice or pasta. I have heard all the excuses. I know the excuses well cos I made them myself! These excuses just mean that for the sake of eating some pasta or bread, we'd be happy to die or live miserably!

Eating this way is not boring! Not at all. It doesn't mean plain food. The food is good, nutritious and appetizing and very tasty. It is up to you. And it is NOT expensive, in fact it is cheaper.

Bear in mind that man used to eat like this as a matter or normalcy! Those people who declare that we must eat carbs are talking rubbish.
This is not a carb free eating plan anyway, just a low carb one. There are carbs in veggies.

Do you like chocolate? So do I. And I eat it every so often. I eat 75% to 85% dark choc. It is low carb. It satisfies with just one or two squares. However, it is high fat so I don't have it often. Before I cleared my system of sweet stuff, I could not face eating this chocolate. Now I couldn't eat the normal kind-far too sweet.

So for the many people who have a problem with weight this may be the way for you. It is the only way for me. It requires desire, honesty,determination and a willingness to accept that we can't eat the way we want to without suffering. It also means we have to deal with our emotions in a way that doesn't involve eating!

I will publish recipes here from time to time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

All Sorts

The sun is shining so I won't need to sit for 30 mins in front of my 10,000 lux light today. I soon won't need to use it all. If any one out there also suffers due to lack of light, I thoroughly recommend you get one. It consists of a box with 4 strip lights in giving out a total of 10,000 lux light. Nothing less will do. One day light bulb will not do! Since I started to use mine, I have not had the awful black depressions and lack of motivation that winter brings on. It really works and for me it worked from the first day.

Luna and Micah got it together 4 weeks ago and she is now 4 weeks pregnant. Micah is such a good boy. Luna is taller than he so he needed my help in the form of two throws folded so that he could stand on top of them. This way he was able to reach. After the first time, he came up to me and 'asked' for the throws!

Moon has been on honeymoon for a whole month! Normally, the 10-12th day of a season is the mating day. Not with her. She didn't mate until the 28th day! Thankfully she went to a good friend so it has not been a hassle. She just stayed there until she was ready. I will collect her on Saturday.

Micah attended his first show, a breed club open show and he won 2nd in his Junior class. I was very pleased with that. The dog placed first is a good dog.

I am in the process of knitting a variation of the sweater I posted last week.

I managed to get John to the doctor on Monday. I insisted. It was not good news. It seems he has a serious lung condition, though not a tumour as I feared. Why do some people hate dr's and leave things till they are really sick? He couldn't breath 150 in the breathing tube he had to breathe into.

My own thoughts and feelings have been all over the place this last month. Feeling nothing, then feeling happy, then feeling like I want to cry all the time. And I have started having night terrors again. Although I hate them more when I am on my own, it is better cos then I don't wake John up! He has learned over the years to wake me from a distance and not to touch me until I am fully awake again.

Shameless is growing up nicely. She is so intelligent and well behaved but still with loads of 'look at me' character.

I have almost completed the body and neck of my hand knit Alpaca sweater, just finishing the left side of neck and it will be done. Then on to the sleeves. I have stuck to hand knitting just one sweater at a time, leaving my Aran alone until this is complete. I find it easier as it doesn't seem to take so long to complete one sweater!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good One

I don't normally care for these emails that are supposedly full of meaningful stuff. However, this one is good:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Sweater and Stuff

Yes, I know it has been a while since I wrote on my blog. Things have been tough recently, More pain and fatigue than usual. This time especially in my hands. I allowed this to get me depressed, as I prejected like a crazy person , envisioning me not able to knit or groom my dogs and before long I was imagining being unable to move, being bedridden and thinking of ways I could end my pathettic bed ridden life! It doesn't do to let your inamgination free! I am sure this wasn't helped by John being in the USA and me running into that evil bitch I told you about last September. How I didn't pick up my sticks and beat her silly with them I don't know, but I didn't. I walked away(or hobbled away) with dignity. At least she had the good grace to keep her eyes on the floor, unable to look at me. So that brought on some obessive anger for a few days. Somewhere or other I recall reading that when one is confronted by such anger, the best thing to do was to pray that the object of your anger to receive all you wish to receive. I balked at the idea but realised it was me that suffered from the rage I felt so I prayed that she find peace. It works. Not perfectly but it does. Whenever I think of her, I just 'bless' her. And sometimes I manage to think that before I think of running her down.... I used 3 different colours of a 2/15 merino, cashmere, silk mix(50%, 25% and 25%). Knittied on tension 4* on the SR 830 fine gauge. 36sts and 68 rows to 10cm(4ins). I sewed the sleeves onto the body instead of joining on the machine. It was much easier! I'll leave you to guess which type of stich pattern I used.
1x1 rib neckband, joined on machine and then folded to inside and sewn down.
This is a close up of the pattern I used. My own creation, very simple.