Monday, August 31, 2009


This is Champion Polielin's Whitney with Tantra at the Scottish Kennel Club Championship Show on August 29th. She gained the RCC (her 5th) under Geoff Luscott. The following day, at The Lhasa Ap[so Club of Scotland's Championship Show she gained her 4th CC under Albert Wight (who has judged BIS at Cruft's.)

This is Whitney with the old fart that she lives with.
The scenery in Scotland was quite lovely, even if the weather wasn't. It was an enjoyable drive which took 6.5 hours each way. It was pretty cold and damp, especially at the SKC show, where my feet went numb with cold. Summer?
I enjoyed myself. Whitney did too and she did very well. The B&B I stayed in was nice and the owners friendly and chatty. They had a lovely Dalmation dog.

At some point in the morning, when I went of to the toilet, someone removed a support rod form my chair. It cannot fall out, it is 16" long and has to be pulled out. Fortunately for me, I use the dog show trolley for support as I sit, so I felt the seat give way as soon as my bum touched the seat and I did not fall injure myself. I and others tried to think of all sorts of ways this could have happened by accident and we couldn't come up with a plausible explanation other than sabotage. I'd like to think that whoever did it, did not really think it thru as this could have seriously injured my spine further. I would hate to have the feelings that caused this person to act as they did. As a result, I went to the supermarket later to buy salad and I found a suitable chair for just £6 and it takes up less room and you'd need hacksaw and too much time to nobble it!

I have come to realise that even 'friends' can be bitten by the green eyed monster. Sad but it is their loss. I make a good friend and they are hard to find.

The whole trip went much better than I expected. I plan to do the Scottish shows next year, as long as they judges are suitable. Given that by body allows it. It did this time. I was sensible though and I did drug up well and I also took the morphine with me. I used it but only 5mg each time (once per day with my other drugs.) One thing I have realised is the drugs only stop my body complaining too loudly at the time! It doesn't stop the after effects of what I do. By that I mean, the drugs may enable me to do things I wouldn't normally be able to do, but I still pay the piper when the drugs wear off and I get just as exhausted and sore. Oh, I slept well too! After the first night. I can't say my gut liked it very much. After much discomfort and effort, I eventually produced a cocktail sausage on Sunday.

I found a Toby's Carvery to eat at on Sunday night. Great food, just right for me. I had roast pork and loads of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cabbage. This pleased me but only made my gut complain. However, by Monday morning the earth moved and I felt much better!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I am about to go to bed. I leave for Scotland in the morning. It's a 335 mile drive to the b&b farm. That is only a few miles form each show, the Scottish Kennel Club on Saturday and the Scottish Lhasa Apso Club on Sunday. I will drive back on Monday.

I have my outfits sorted out, will take a camera with me. Whitney will be bathed in the morning before I leave.

I am taking my aran sweater on the needles and two pairs of socks on the needles, one for John and one for me.

I am taking the portable fridge. My biggest concern, apart from wondering if I will manage to dress myself or ratehr undress myself and will I be fit after the drive, is the food situation. I can't take the portable fridge to the show, too heavy and besides nowhere to plug it in. I doubt it holds enough food to last me 4 days. At the shows, only fast food will be available so I must make do with what I can take. Honestly, if I could choose to have either this food thing taken away from me or the pain problem, I'd choose the food issue with no hesitation. It's a real PITA. I dare not go off and eat what is easiest as I have no idea what will happen. Sometimes, I manage to get away with a sandwich. Other times I get bad cramps and poos and terrible bloat. The last things I want when travelling or showing. On the Saturday I ought to be able to find a supermarket open to replenish my stocks but Sunday? Maybe, it depends when I leave the show. I think the B&B lady said they only do cereals and juice, both of which are definite no no's for me.

I am trepidacious about this trip but excited too. (Yes, I made that word up - I like it.) OOPs I lie! I decided to go check on Google and in fact Trepidacious is a word and it means exactly what I mean-anxious, fearful, etc. Goodness knows now if I made it up or read it somewhere. It just popped into me head and sounded just right.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I really like this colourway. It is by Schoppel Wolle, from their Admiral Flake range, colour number 2013. It is 75% virgin wool and 25% nylon. The ball band says it is 420m per 100gm but I think there is less than that. This is the second ball I have used and they both came up short in the sock. The first pair, Nelson, I knitted on 2mm and they were shorter than these. This pair I knittedon 2.25mm and they are still shorter than my noraml socks. Put it this way, 117 rounds to heel, turn heel, 80 rounds in pattern and then 16 rounds in rib. Normally I can expect 100 rounds of pattern and 30 rounds of rib out of a sock yarn that is 420m per 100gm. Sp something is not correct here. This yarn does feel thicker than usual. Still, I really like them and the length is not so short as to irritate me.
I used my Andersson Toe Up Method and the Andersson Heel Mach II (revised). This yarn is a very good reason for toe up! Had I been knitting top down, I would have run out before I finished as this yarn comes up so short.
No one has ever asked how I come upo with the names for my socks. I use word association.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My boots for Scotland. Where else? The three below are just some others that found their way here.

The Welsh went well. Whitney won her Limit class and went on to win the RCC. She now has 3 CC and 4 RCC. From now on she is in the Open Bitch class.

This weekend we have two shows on Saturday and Sunday in Scotland. The Scottish Kennel Club Show is on Saturday at the Royal Highland Showground and the Scottish Lhasa Apso Club show is in Boness on Sunday.

I leave here Friday and come back Monday. I am nervous about this trip. It is the first time I have been away like this on my own since my disease took hold. I was telling Mandy how I was concerned about getting dressed or undressed after the show and she told me that she was staying in a hotel close by and just to call her and she would help me as long as she didn't have to see my 'winkie'!

Yesterday I did nothing but the essentials-i.e the dogs. I could barely walk and John had to haul me out of bed. I took plenty of drugs and slept well in the afternoon and last night. I am not swimming today and will have another rest day. In fact I might have rest days until I I go to Scotland on Friday. (Oh saw the doc and she upped the amytryptaline to see if that will help me sleep better without the spasms that wake me. I was right about the sleeping pills not being the answer-she said we would have nowhere to go once they stopped working, and they will stop working if one takes them nightly. It seems that the spine damage in the thoracic region is what causes these spasms. My three worst regions are lumbar, thoracic and cervical-so basically the whole spine! It is rather weird where one gets the pain which stems from these three damaged areas. I also found out that arthritis attacks different joints at different times. Hence why the pain seems to move around. My hands have been okay for a while now but not my feet. I also discovered that my Docs really do help. As soon as I had them off, my feet and lower legs started and I had much difficulty walking. It feels like they crunch when I move. It's the Airwair souls on the Docs that make all the difference. Of course they are very difficult to get on and off, and oft times impossible on my own!)

Whitney is in season, started yesterday. I hope Bridget and Carly come in too a sit will be easier to have them all done with together. I am now having to keep James and Luque away from them and they can't go out together into the garden.If the two young girls do come in season, then this will go on for a month. Longer if they don't synchronize. The one drawback to keeping dogs and bitches as indoor pets rather than kennels. Anyway, it will not be much of a problem until the girl)s) ripens. Then the boys will be really distracted!


Ellis Hulme G3 
Andrew Brace G4 
Steve Hall Puppy G 4
Final 7 in all Groups so far( to november 09)  
Sally Pointon CC BOB  
Ken Warrington CC BOB  
Stuart Keaye CC BOB 
Albert Wight CC RBIS 
Mark James CC 
Pauline Torrance CC BOB    

Jane Lilley RCC  
Jack Bispham RCC  
Roger Bayliss RCC  
Derek Dungate RCC 
Geoff Luscott RCC  

Paul Harding BPIB  
Glynnis Dolphin BPIB  
Tim Minton BPIB 
Sue Bird RBB 
Beryl Bradford RBB 
Barry Croft 1  
Bruce Watson 1  
Beverley Drake 1  
Chris Blaber 1  
Hazel Gaye 1  
Sue Roberts 2  
Diana Spavin 2  
Margaret Jennings 2  
Jaquie Chalmers 3 
Geoff Corish 4  
Jaqui Waghorn 4 
Janet Brown 4  
Sue Swatkins 4  

Bob Gaye 5  
Graham Holmes 5  
Peter Diment 5  

Ida Watts 0  
Jim Outerside 0  
Ann Arch 0 
Keith Nathan 0 
John Carter 0

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This is for tomorrow's dog show in at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Wales. I have been waiting ages for an outfit with which I could wear those boots. Fortunately, the Parrots on the waistcoat have orange and green in them too. ;-) (Oh, the boots have white daises painted on them. Doc Marten's of course.)


Today's swim did not go well. It was difficult cos it hurt and was tiring but got worse due to a bully.

The adult only lane sessions are for people such as myself who swim laps. Everyone does it and knows the routine. You DO NOT swim either in front or behind another close enough to get kicked or impede them, you swim around them, if the pool is that busy.

Not so for two women who clearly wanted to swim in my lane. I swim right next to the wall. I feel secure there. If I go into spasm, I can grab the wall more quickly than the lifeguard can see and then jump in.

Anyway, instead of swimming around me when they reached close enough, they swam INTO me. The 3rd time they did this, I stopped and politely but firmly told her that her swimming behaviour was ill mannered and could she not see that I was swimming? Her response was that she wanted to swim there and I ought to get out of the way! I ignored that and continued until she got in my face, literally, again. So I told her more firmly. Unfortunately I got a load of twaddle back and I lost my cool and swore at her. Was this the end? There was no way she was going to move. She was going to bully her way into having her own way and have me out.

I called over the lifeguard and the manager for the day came along too. I explained the problem. However, neither of them were willing to do their job. Yes, they told her that her behaviour wasn't on but the only strong words they used were toward me for swearing!(despite my apology as soon as I swore.) They did not insist their behaviour stopped. They didn't ask them to leave the pool. They didn't enforce the rules.

During this exchange, she informed us she was a police officer and would have me up on assault charges. I moved away before I hit her. But not before I said I was not at all surprised as bullies were often drawn to uniforms. She no doubt thought I swam away due to her threat. I did not. I did so to prevent me behaving badly!

I lost. I had to get out the pool as I was effectively stopped from swimming. They did not alter their behaviour, the manager and guard failed to take action.

I cannot abide bullies. I equally cannot abide those that allow it to take place when they have the power to stop it. Matters were made because John asked me when I got home what the matter was and I started to tell him and he immediately stops me because he really doesn't deal well with emotion and I was displaying anger when trying to relate what had happened. His stifling me just made me more angry. I shut up though. He still doesn't know what happened and isn't going to know I guess as he can't handle upset feelings.

I am aware I am probably more angry because all this does is set off flashbacks.

I often don't know with whom I more angry - the bullies or those that allow them to get away with it. I certainly was very well aware when I was a child and teen that others were aware of what was going on and could have stopped it if they chose to. They didn't and in my ignorance, it just confirmed my conclusion that is was happening because I deserved it. In so doing, I did not even realise I had been bullied and abused until I was in my mid 30's. Even then, I still believed until I was 49 that there was something wrong with me which caused these people to treat me that way. I know the truth is that there was something wrong with them. That knowledge has freed me to enjoy my life. I regret that the knowledge came so late in my life. Better than not all, of course.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CASSIUS (ONLine Supersocke Butterfly)

This is colour 1156 from the new ONline Supersocke 'Butterfly' range. Aren't the colours good? I got the whole 8 colourways. I knitted these on Knit Pro 2.25mm circulars, using the Andersson Method and Andersson Heel Mach II. (Toe up). Worked over 70 sts and 252 rounds, not including heel. The pattern is simple : Round 1: k4, p1 Round 2, knit all. Repeat. As this is a 5 st repeat, you need a number divisible by 5. You start with K2, p1, k4, p1 etc till last three sts and p1 k2. Round 2 knit all, round 3 same as round 1 and so on.


I'll warn you now, this is moaning post. I am really pissed off with my condition. I HAVE been taking it more easily, listening to my body and it is still telling me to go stuff myself.

I have cut down my swimming to 3 days a week. I have cut the actual time spent swimming by half. Even that half time is not easy to do but not agony. More fatigue inducing.

I really don't think it's is the problem. It is not sleeping that is the problem. Obvious isn't it? I am having rough pain filled nights and am waking up every hour or so. I have to get up. I have to rearrange myself and usually end up sleeping sitting up. When I am asleep, I am dreaming, sometimes weird, sometimes, okay, sometimes nasty. Whatever, I am not getting deep sleep. So no wonder I am feeling so crap.

I am prone to forcing myself onward, trying to work though it but it is not working. I just seem to make matters worse. I knew when I got up this morning that I could do with staying in bed longer. Yet I had already had a day off, surely I didn't need two days off when I was doing so little? Yes was the answer to that and I found out once I had already f*cked up my day.

I don't know how to overcome this. I can't take pills for it cos I know that they lose their effectiveness. In the past, these periods of pain disturbed sleep have gone and I returned to normal. This spell has been going on nearly a year now and has got worse not better. I know I started to write about how I was having trouble doing my swimming about last November, maybe the month before.

200mg long acting Tramadol doesn't help. Morphine disturbs my sleep and gives me nightmares (common side effect). Besides, the problem seems to be more cramp in my ribcage and nothing seems to stop that happening. I might get it for many nights in row and then it stops. Other times I am not aware of pain at night but am still sleeping badly, waking every hour or so. I know I always wake to change position as I can't just roll over or whatever automatically. It takes effort.

The less I sleep the more difficult everything becomes and the more pain I am in, or maybe it just seems that way because I am exhausted and therefore do not tolerate the pain so easily.

It's a pity they have not come up with a drug that helps this that doesn't cause dependence or that one's body doesn't get used to.

Well, that is about it for now. At least writing this has shown me that my major problem is the lack of sleep and that is why I am having trouble doing everything else. Quite how I can overcome this, I don't know. Waiting for the change to come seems to be it but this has been a long time coming. In the past, it has lasted maybe a few weeks and then returned to normal. This hasn't changed for many months now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Someone had a go at me about PC, when they clearly didn't really understand what the term means. I wrote the following in reply:

I spent the first 16 years of my life being molested, raped, beaten, bullied at school. I spent much of my adult years being hounded by homophobes, being locked up in mental hospitals by homophobes, being beaten up, forced out my home. (Incidentally many of them have ideas such as the ones you just expressed.)

So just because someone has different view from you, do not assume they have had a good life or see life thru rose tinted glasses. I know how dark life can be and yet I still do not condemn or hate. I know where that leads.

Children who are not respected have no respect for others. Children who are not loved have no love for themselves and hence none for others. (I was lucky-there was always a neighbour, a teacher, who showed me love and respect and later a man who loved me for me and has done for 28 years.)

PC is little to do with what you are referring to. It is about treating people with respect, which your email suggests you know little about as you disrespected me and the others who read it let alone the people you despise. PC is about not using names like n*gger, p*ky, w*g, p*of, qu*er, invalid, cripple, etc. It is about treating women and children as equal and of equal value, people who are different in background, race, colour etc

It is those people who eschew these values that cause the problems we have in society. Yes, some children behave badly. It is hardly surprising. I see children being treated badly daily.

As someone with physical disability, a wheelchair and walking stick user, I know only too well that disrespect and downright cruel and ignorant behaviour is not the province of the young. In fact most of it comes form people very much older and the old.

You are of course right that your mother ought not to have to tolerate what she does. Your attitude will do nothing to help the problem, it just feeds it.

Thinking is difficult but it behoves those of us who can to do so rather than just to lash out simplistically, for to do so just adds unneeded fuel to the fire.

I do understand the anger evident in your post. I understand anger very well. I also understand that to think and act in an anger fuelled manner is not helpful and ultimately would make me no different than those who harmed me.

Everyone can rationalise their behaviour. EVERYONE. Saying we acted badly in retaliation is not a logical or acceptable justification for own behaviour.

Condemn behaviour and ideas by all means but never the person. When we do condemn the person we are just as amoral as we think they are. NONE of us sees the whole picture, and none of us has the required knowledge to make such an assertion ( that a person is such as to be condemned.)

Physical violence only breeds resentment and fear and leads to the very thing we are trying to prevent. History shows this to be true.

Monday, August 17, 2009


The yarn is a merino and bamboo mix that my friend Lia bought for me from Blue Ridge. It feels wonderful and is easy to knit with. Sadly, it had 3 knots in it's 400yd length.(only 86g)
I used Knit Pro 2mm circular needles, each sock on it's own. I used my Andersson Toe Up Construction Method.
I used the Andersson Heel Mach II (revised).

I took my Ebay sales to the Post Office. All packaged and stamped with online postage. Guess what? Some idiot ha snow decided that such parcels have to be weighed and put on the computer by the post office clerk. Thus defeating the object of online postage. No way I am I going to be doin two lots of work so I will be going back to taking them and letting them do all the waork.


The woman a couple of doors down ha slit a nice big bonfire in her garden. White smoke all over the place. I am coughing, my house and clothing stink. In the more civilised rest of Europe, this is illegal.


I went for my swim. I did half my usual, a splanned. The water was cold. It hurt. I have been much more sore since. When I got out of the pool I noted that my togs had a rather large split in them. I went and bought new ones.


I wa sgoing to see if I could compelte one whole sock form start to finish today but have foudn myself too busy! I said I was having rest days today and tomorrow so i could do this but I think there is no such thing as a rest day. On the days I say I do nothing, I do plenty!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


( OFF THE SUBJECT- whatever was making me ill has passed. John reminded me that I have had several episodes just like that that do not become another illness. We think it is part of what I already have. I seem to recall reading somewhere that it is. I felt really bad Friday and not so clever yesterday but today I seem alright again. More pain than usual. Weird.)
I do not understand patriotism. Thankfully I was not indoctrinated that way. I do know that is why if I dare to say anything critical of the USA (even though I made criticisms of our own, and also made it clear I am well aware that not all Americans are the same and did not generalise), people take it personally, don't rea dclearly, and don;t think clearly and rush off a defenisve comment with unfoudned accustations. Don't do that. You are only proving to some that Americans are exactly the way they view them. I would not like that to be so because I know that not all Americans think alike just the same as we over here do not.

Disagreeing with things your government does or what your fellow countrymen allow is not a personal attack on you although from what I understand of the indoctrination that gives rise to suhc ardent patriotism, it is not surprising as that is how youa re programmed. It is how you can accept the unaccpetbale becaus eyou have been told since you were knee high that to dissent is unpatriotic and being unpatritoc is evil.




Including 100gm cakes of pure Alpaca, cones of Cashmere, cotton/silk,lambswool, lambswool/angora, Wendy Premium Aran 5 x 100g balls, and more.


We watch the news and of course USA news is big here because the USA is a big deal around the world. So much so that i think we should be included in being allowed to vote for your President.
But I digress. The big news story is Obama's attempts at reform of your medical system, where so many either don't have medical care or go broke paying for it.
What really puzzles us, makes our mouths drop open, is people banging on about 'if we provide health care for all we will be like Russia.'!!!!
Huh? Are the Americans so paranoid about communism still? Just what are you taught about the rest of the world? Are you taught anything other than to fear and hate? Have the Right so contaminated the system that people truly believe that socialized medicine is evil and next to Communism? That it is only a short step from there to being overrun by the Russians or Chinese?
I am well aware that the news shows what it wants and of course hearing these xenophobes and ignorant twits screaming abuse at those who are trying to take care of ALL people makes for more interesting news.
I also know enough Americans to know that not all think this way. Enough though do otherwise you'd have a civilised health care system. Plus I read enough blogs where this type of twaddle is written. Honestly, there are those who still believe that Obama is really a Muslim terrorist out to undermine the USA. (Those that do undermine the USA are those people who say he is etc)

I recall back in 97 when I stayed in a farm B&B in Maine that the two people who owned it did not have medical insurance and not eligible for Medicare. I was astounded and just hoped they wouldn't get sick. Being humans, I am sure they did and I am equally sure they were stuffed when they did having no means to pay for treatment or for insurance.

I know that were I a USA citizen,I'd be up s**t creek without a paddle. I don't' pay for my treatment or my drugs. If I had to, I'd have to go without. I can't get private health insurance here because of my health. Only well people get it.

As with so many things, only the wealthy get their needs and rights met. This is simply unconscionable.

Fear of Russia is no reason to allow 50 million people to not be cared for. Once the medical system is overhauled, perhaps they could do something about education and get religion out of it! Religion is where this nonsense stems from and I find oh so strange that a country that purports to follow the Prince of Peace (and Love and Compassion and Forgiveness) is a country that allows this wicked state of affairs to exist and also has the barbaric death penalty. I think it no wonder hatred of the Middle East is so strong. The two are much alike.

I mean, so many millions say they believe that a man lived inside a whale? That a man who believed this, (and that we all sprung from a man and woman who only had two sons, one of which was slain), was voted President, leader of the world's most powerful nation, not once, but TWICE!!!

Equalled, almost, by our own Blair who lied and lied and played poodle to your man, who now becomes a RC because he thinks that confessing to a priest and then saying a few prayers absolves him. You only have to see his drawn and haunted face to know that not even he believes this.

The fact that both men purported to be followers of Jesus Christ, and all he stood for, did what they did is astounding. Although nothing new of course.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


No, dear readers, I do not mean you. I do believe I am sick. I might even have swine flu. I feel dreadful. I was good yesterday until half way thru the afternoon when I just quite suddenly felt bad, really bad. My energy went. My head feels as if it's in a big muffler or stuffed with cotton wool and I ache all over, though to be frank, that part is hard to know if it's any different to normal. My voice has gone weird, croaky and squeaky. Put it this way, I did not go shopping last night. For those who know me, you know it must be serious for me to forgo shopping.

I have awoken today not feeling any better and my head feels worse. Being the self sacrificing kind of person that I am, I have dragged myself out of bed just to come and write for you.

I was awoken by a knocking at the door. It was the postwoman, Floss. Lets just say I could not go to open the door because of my EME and needing to pee. I wouldn't want to shock the poor thing. John was without an EME so I made him go to the door.

Amongst the mail was another card for Whitney. She has had loads congratulating her on her gaining her Crown. Really many more than I would have expected.

Thankfully I have no show until next Sunday. I hope I am fully recovered from whatever this is by then with enough well days before the show. Otherwise I might have to give it a miss because the following Friday is a 4 day show in Scotland.

I admit to being concerned about the Scottish trip. I will be on my own. John won't be there to help me dress/undress nor to haul stuff in and out of my car. I may end up having to sleep in my boots! I have a pair of Tartan Doc Martens especially for this show. Pink tartan. Patent leather.

The photograph on this post is the one I am going to use for the advert in the dog press.

PS: we finished watching Australia last night. It changed from the comedy it seemed to be into the sort of film I thought it was in the first place-an epic romance. Yes, Yarnhog, I kept watching because of Mr Jackman otherwise I might well have turned it off. John wasn't impressed and would have turned it off after 20 minutes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I just finished watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. All 2hrs and 40 minutes of it. Why? I kept waiting for the film to get to the point. It seems there wasn't one.

I watched Hancock and quite enjoyed that. Different anyway. I also saw Confessions of a Shopoholic. WHAT!!!!? I cannot believe they still make films like that. Offensive to women, still depicting them as empty head bimbos who only want to shop. A truly icky film and I like rom coms but this was tripe.

I started to watch Australia (Hugh Jackman anyone?) but stopped because I think John would like to see it after all. i thought, as did he, this was just a romantic drama. It is clearly a comedy, or at least not what we thought. We'll watch it at the weekend.

Two new shows on tv we gave up on.

Fringe-a bad attempt at another X-files type show. Cringe making acting.


Gave both three episodes and that was it.

I did not swim today. I had a crap day yesterday, Nightmares again last night. This not being able to swim everyday has been going on all this year and I think the last couple on months of last. So me thinks I need to stop trying to and making myself knackered and pithed off and ill and sore. Face facts. The days of being able to swim daily have gone. I can cope with pain, I can cope with tired, what really p's me off is my body dictating what I can and can't do. It is really annoying me, interfering in my pleasures and fitness. I am afraid of not swimming. I do not want to put on weight again. The irony is that I am likely to if I continue to force myself to swim because I get so sore and tired and done in that I end up eating foods that are not good for me and exacerbate. I haven't explained this very well. I mean pain I can deal with, fatigue I can't. The more fatigued I am the less I can sleep and the less I can think until I stop functioning altogether.

I am going to give every other day a try. And I am going to go to bed earlier and maybe get up later. I don't need a whole 1.5 hrs before I leave for the swim to be up. Maybe I can cut it down to 1hr. it depends on how long it takes me to get out of bed. I am always sore and very stiff in the mornings and I often have to roll myself out so I fall onto my knees.Oh anyway, you don't need to know that. I am just going to see if I can alter some things so I can keep up my swimming.

My new socks, Liam, are half way done. very simple pattern, lovely yarn from Blue Ridge given to me by my friend Lia in Germany but she is from the USA.

No show this weekend. Then from the following weekend it is all go. The Welsh on that Sunday, then a Scottish double the following weekend and so I shall be away for 4 days. Home and then another show the next weekend. In fact i think there is one very weekend now until November. I think I am giving the last 3 shows of the year a miss. Undecided yet.

I have bought some beautiful cotton materials to have made into waistcoats for me.

I also succumbed to OnLine's new Butterfly range of sock yarn. I bought the whole collection of 8 colourways.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I telephoned Kollage Yarns. I was put on to a man named Mark.

Mark could not have been more helpful. First of all, I am getting a complete refund and I do not have to send the needles back.

Secondly, they are developing a thicker cable. I will try those when they are available.

We had quite a chat. (I was telephoning Birmingham, Alabama and loved the accent though I did have to say , no it's COLIN, not COLON!!!!).

Mark was very helpful, friendly, and not at all put out. He is aware of the problem with SOME of us. It seems these needles are loved by some and hated by others. For the exact same reason. In other words, some love the cable and some don't. There appears to be no in between.

Now do remember I am talking ONLY about the circulars. I think the needle itself is wonderful and I am sure those who use the Hedgehog to knit their socks would love thier dpn's.

I can't recall who told me about the thicker cable but I am so glad you did. If you had not, I would not have bothered to call and let them know what I thought of these.

I am astonished to be getting a full refund. Their customer service is excellent.

I did tell him I was going to write here and let you know. It is only fair to put both sides of this. He was so nice I sort of felt bad for moaning!

So now you know. Kollage Yarns are excellent to deal with. You may or may not like the square circulars (!) as they are at present but there is soon going to be a thicker cable alternative. They will then do the circulars in BOTH cables.


I am not a happy bunny. In fact, I am a seriously disturbed bunny. This bunny is hopping mad. You get the picture?

At great expense, $43-80 for just 2 x 2mm 60cm circular needles I bought Kollage square needles. (The postage cost was outrageous-I know I send stuff to the USA all the time. I wanted the needles so I paid it. Not again.)

They arrived this morning and I could not wait to get my paws upon them. Oh they looked so enticing in their nice little pouch.

I was patient. This called for a special yarn and so I took out my only remaining ball (of two) of Tofutsies. I patiently wound it into two balls. plus side; each ball weight 53grams. Down side-a knot in the yarn. Not three like the last ball but I find knots in any number in 100gm balls unacceptable.

I didn't let it get in the way of the thrill I anticipated when knitting this up on my brand new ergonomically designed needles especially for those of us with crippled in one way or the hands. It says so right on the packet.

It also says cable will not Kurl, Kink, or Knot.


The very first thing the cable did was kink, curl and knot. And bend and twist. It is ridiculously thin. Far too thin. So scooting the stitches from the cable to the needle is a real PITH. (Pain In The Hands). So yes, I am pithed off. Seriously. This was a lot of money for rubbish. In order to get the stitches form the cable to the needle, one has to push the cable end of needle thru the first couple of stitches and STOP or the cable will kink, curl, knot. Then one has to PULL the cable form the other end and the needle will go back wards thru the stitches. Only then can one continue to knit. I have no faith that this constant having to pull on the cable will not break the cable.

This sort of idiocy really does annoy me. How did this get past the design stage? Did no one test them? If the cable was like the cable on Addi or Knit Picks of even on Hiya Hiya , none of which I have problems with, these would be excellent needles because the needle itself is very comfortable to use. i cannot say I see any difference in the stitches but I don't care about that. i bought them expecting them to be helpful and they are not. They are dreadful. Only because someone didn't say 'hang on, I'd better knit with these first and see how that cable holds up'. I am sure they couldn't have done so. If they did, then well, .......I'll leave that thought where it is.

my fiend Lia bought the Kollage square dpn's and she is happy with them and that doesn't surprise me. they haven't got that ridiculous cable attached to them. The cable, btw, is about as thick as cobweb weight yarn! I think the designer must have been thicker.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It's not always easy to ignore the spite of others. It still, even after 50 years, baffles me why people want to hurt others. Oh, I understand wanting to hurt others that have hurt those you love or yourself, though it hasn't been a feeling I have had in any strong way. Wanting to lash out at benign people baffles me. I also find it hurtful, as embarrassing as that is. I try to let it wash over me and I suppose I get better at that. This week though it has not been so easy. Each time it has felt like I got kicked in the stomach. Mainly because the kicks have come without warning. Oh, I know it will always be. there are always going to be sad people around who want to hurt those they see as having what they think they ought to have or are just not they way they think they ought to be.


Due to her wins Whitney is entitled to two adverts in the dog press. These are the two photographs I am thinking of using. I have discovered that what looks too dark on my screen is just right when printing on to photo paper. To look right on the screen, they look anaemic in print. So this is bit worrying for the paper ads.

Monday, August 10, 2009




Today started off with John having to haul me out of bed. I am okay now that I am up and moving about.

I had night terrors last night for the first time in I don't know how long. I don't know what they were about. I only remember the first one, or rather just remember John waking me by stroking my back. He says that although I awoke gently from that one, I continued to yell and fight when I went back to sleep. I recall nothing of that.

Last night we watched DOUBT. Ultimately a disappointing film. It would have been a good film to play before an audience and then have a discussion about it, but just to watch it like we did left us a bit cold. I have to say I cannot think of an actor better than Meryl Streep. No matter what she does, she doesn't play Meryl Streep, always whatever character she is.

Last week we watched Passengers, Knowing, Harvey Milk and Young Victoria. We enjoyed all of them.

Today is going to be a rest day. I shall watch DVD's and knit. Nothing else. I figure out after Paignton that I need two days to recoup after a dog show, not the one I was allowing myself. Still, that was better than the not allowing myself any rest all!

I received two of the nicest compliments ever on Saturday. Two young men who were collecting litter (garbage) at the showground stopped me and told they thought my 'suit' was really cool! They were about 16-18. I was really complimented because for them to say that to an old fart meant I must have looked good and not silly.(I worry that I look like the male equivalent of mutton dressed as lamb.)

The second compliment came oddly. I was about to get back into the car at the services on the A1 when I young woman pulled into the disabled parking spot. She clearly had no Blue Badge. I watched her as she and some children got out of the car. I said nothing whilst I figured out what to say(I was tired and sore so not quick off the mark.) The woman said something about my clothing and to be frank I didn't really hear her. She then said: I am not taking the piss, I mean it. You look really handsome and very few man can get away with wearing pink. I still said nothing. I was totally flummoxed. I did say thank you eventually and said nothing about how careless she was about parking where she was not entitled by law to. Anyway, the children were hers and I thought she was their older sister. Seriously. She looked barely out of her teens but was in fact 30.

Weird, but I tell you it is true, on the days I feel insecure about my outfit for that show day, I get stand out compliments. Did I mention that at one show, I could see this tattooed skinhead coming toward me? I tell you, if I could have, I'd have moved away quickly. When he got to me, I was floored because all he was doing was complimenting me on my clothing! Even though I object, I found myself judging him just by the way he looked. He frightened me basically. Till he spoke.

I have been nicely surprised at the comments I have had on my blog and in private emails with regard to the email list I wrote about. Thank you all. I don't feel so put out today but it still tastes bad in mouth.

My next show is not until the Sunday after next, in Wales. A difficult journey as the Royal Welsh Showground is not easy to get to. Anyway, I have nearly two weeks to sort out my wardrobe for it!

The weekend after that is Scotland and a back to back show. The Scottish Kennel Club on the Saturday and the Scottish Lhasa Apso Club on the Sunday. I have a farmhouse bed and breakfast for Whitney and I to stay in. I will drive the 350 miles there on the Friday. Have only a few miles to drive on Saturday and Sunday, and the 350miles back on Monday. I don't know how I will manage. I will be on my own as John will be staying to look after the dogs at home. It's the doing it on my own that makes me feel trepidadious. I used to do stuff on my own. Like drive 1300 miles to Oslo. But now I am unfit and that makes a difference. (my spell checker says trepidacious is not a word. It ought to be., I like it and it's meaning is obvious.)

Sunday, August 09, 2009


The yarn is Admiral Flake (2014) by Schoppel-Wolle. It is 75% Virgin wool 25% Nylon. 420m per 100g. I used 2mm needles. The gauge I got was 9.5 spi and 14 rpi, thus showing that indeed colour of yarn DOES alter gauge. I knew this but some people seemed to think I was nuts to think so. These socks are, like the Harvey Milk socks, shorter than I would have liked due to the increase in rows per inch. The needle used was KnitPicks 2mm circular, 60cm length, each sock on it's own needle, knitted simultaneously. I used my Andersson Toe Up Method and Andersson heel Mach II(revised). The pattern is simple. 4 by 1 garter rib, with the 4 cabled every 8 rounds.

I am most disappointed, initially angry, to receive an email from one of the List Moms (what a ridiculous moniker that is) of a group I belong to complaining that my posts were considered by many to be corrupting to children who may read the list! These were not the words used but it is what was meant. I was told that my posts were about drug use and sexual innuendo were not welcome. The whole tone was unpleasant and written in such a way as to suggest that I was advocating and promoting illicit drug use and that my writing was salacious. They had many private complaints about my posts and how they would be be corrupting to children. I bet they did! From homophobes and those jealous of me for other reasons. The complaints were not seen for the thinly disguised prejudice that they were and I received an email that cannot be taken back and am left feeling quite unwelcome on that list. The really daft thing is: sexual innuendo is entirely interpreted by the READER. I hardly think innocent children would make such interpretations. I also found it really offensive that my needing medication to deal with the truly awful affects of a disease, without which my knitting would not be possible, is classed as 'drug use' and therefore corrupting to children, and must not be mentioned even in relation to sock knitting.

I know many Americans and those I know are not like this but people, you need to know that this type of thing is a very good example of why the USA has the reputation it has for being full of right wing bigots full of hatred and wacky ideas with little or no education.

I don't often seriously get miffed by email nonsense. I am more than miffed by this. My feelings are hurt. And they are hurt because I know what lies behind this so called 'protecting children from me' missive. Oh and I am not saying the person who wrote the email to me is the instigator, just that they were given the ammo to use against me. Also, don't misunderstand, I know all about non topic posts and I rarely do, and many others do, yet I was singled out and not for the off topic but for the danger to children my posts posed. Had the email just been a friendly reminder about non topic posts, I'd have not been at all offended and taken care to remember. It wasn't though and the rest of the email betrays what it was really about.

I will continue to post when I have completed a pair of socks cos I know people like to see them and I shall answer any questions privately.

Such a shame that something so enjoyable had to be ruined by people's spite and ignorance and intolerance and ultimately allowed to be by those with the power to stop it.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bournemouth 2009

Whitney won 1st Limit Bitch today.

Friday, August 07, 2009


It would seem I need two whole days to recover form a dog show, not one. I did nothing Wednesday and I went for my swim Thursday and it went well. Later that day, I became very tired and weak and sore and today I could not swim and have been rough all day, weak and tired. I am off to bed right now for a 2am start for a dog show tomorrow, Bournemouth. It is just gone 6pm and I get up at 2am so should have a decent sleep.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I went to Paignton in Devon yesterday for another dog show. Whitney won the RCC (res Best Bitch). Angie, whom I go with,( we share fuel costs), won both her classes with her dogs.

The day was awful. It rained all the way there (260 miles) and all the way back(260 miles) and the whole time we were there.

I wore my ivory tux, lavender trousers, silver/lilac waistcoat, lilac cravat and purple, lilac and pink Kickers. No photo but I will get one taken. I shall ask a neighbour to do it for me.

On the way home, we stopped for coffee. What a performance. Bear in mind we both have buggered spines. Just getting out the car was a performance and a half and had you heard the grunts and groans but couldn't see us, you may have had a different image entirely of what we were doing.

We got our coffees and got in the car. As I was reversing , my wet foot slipped off the clutch and the car stalled and jerked and Angie's coffee, which was on it's way to her mouth, spilled down her front. All I heard was : ohh, my titties!!!! I hadn't at that point seen what had happened. I burst into hysterical laughter and she joined me. It was quite a while before I could stop laughing. Now, it wasn't her scorched boobs that made me laugh but what she said and how she said it. It still makes me giggle when I her recall her tone, like a very surprised little girl, and her use of the word 'titties'. Well, it tickled me anyway.

The weather is YUK today. Cloudy, grey and very hot and sticky. Still air. Fortunately, the dog show in Bournemouth on Saturday has sunny and dry weather forecast. After this show we have almost two weeks without one and then I have 4 in under two weeks.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Well, I finally finished them. Phew! I knitted them with a 75% wool 25% nylon yarn from THE WOOLHUNTER. I knitted them on Hiya Hiya 1.75mm needles. Mainly because I wanted the yarn to do something more interesting with it's beautiful colours. This is the best I could do. The grey swirls around and around but the black and orange still stripe! Due to the smaller gauge, these socks are shorter than I like. However, I am pleased with them overall. I like the pattern I used and will be using it to better effect, I think, on John's plain blue socks. I have named them after The assassinated San Francisco supervisor, Harvey Milk, who, like the pattern, did not take the easy, straight pathway and paid with his life but by so doing laid the path for others in the battle for freedom.
I knitted them using my toe up Andersson method with the Andersson heel Mach II (improved version.)
This is the pattern. Simple to do. I changed from 2x2 to 4x4 every 10 rows, but alternating where the 4 x4 lay.
EDIT: the pattern is only on the instep and front of leg. teh rear of leg is plain 2x2 rib. I used travelling sts to create the pattern, no increasing or decreasing. So, for example, after the first 9 tows of 2x2 ribbing, on the 10th round I purl one, hold next purl at back, knti 2, purl the held stitch, p2 and hold next 2 sts to front, purl 1 and then knit 2 held at front. As you do dit, it will become obvious how you do it. then I knti a further 9 rounds afetr this one and on the 10round, I travel back to 2x2. Now the importnat bit is that wehn you are ready to travel back to 4x4 you do not do the same as for the first swtich to 4x4. Instead you p2, hold 2 to front, p1, knit 2, hold p st at back, knti 2, p the held stich, p2, hold 2 to front, p1, knit the 2 held. I have written this as I try to picture in my mind what I did so this is not foolproof. However, if you DO IT, it will become clear.