Tag Archives: crochet

Ennui and rage

Ida and I went on to the park after we had dropped Zeph at school today. We had nothing on our to do list except make tea so thought we’d take advantage of the early sun.

We had the entire park to ourselves except for a very serious muscle man doing pull ups on the climbing frame and grunting a lot. He didn’t stay that long as Ida decided to stand at his knees and grunt back at him.

Clearly not accustomed to children he fled.

I’m quite fond of the playground at the park. Possibly because I’m comparing it with the playground we sometimes cross on the way home. The one Z calls the broken glass playground. I’m sure you can form your own inner city mental picture.

At least there’s grass and trees here although also the usual quota of disaffected yoof. Breaking all the baby swings – damn them.

Ida is really independent at the playground – way more than Z was. Although she’s quite happy for you to come along on the car trip she’d rather play on stuff by herself – woe betide the adult who tries to lend a hand so the playground experience is pretty relaxing. You can even read a paper..

I love this picture – it really captures that crazy sunny light just before the storm. For once I actually managed to time it so we were stepping back through our front door as the heavens open.

Also I’m enjoying Ida’s glee at unimpeded access to the highly coveted teenager roost area.

 Okay – I actually wrote this post a couple of days ago, and halfway through writing it was submerged under a tidal wave of ennui and had to save and GET OUT! Now the obvious thing would be to delete and start again with something a bit more gripping but where’s the authentic self in that?  Often my life seems nails-in-the-eyes tedious. I’m sure we’re all in the same boat.

Of course I’m blogging about mine. *cough*

Today was more eventful – my lovely friend Erika dropped by in the morning to find the keys in the door and the house empty. I arrived back with Ida and a load of shopping to find a gentle note in the door. We waited, abashed, in the garden for her to call back after her work appointment.

I am very white queenishly chaotic at the moment. When I’m particularly clumsy I always suspect my subconscious of trying to sabotage me.  A bit of introspection doesn’t reveal much out of the ordinary – all the usual angst present and correct. Possibly that’s the problem as I’m sick to the back teeth of them all. Gah, double gah.

Anyway my lovely angel of mercy arrived on her bike with the most amazing dress she’s crocheted for Ida – she took some beautiful photo’s in the garden for Ravelry. I’ve taken some after dinner. So you’ve got extra yoghurt, felt tipped cats whiskers and Idas careful choice of red welly boot which gives her the air of a deranged gogo dancer.


How great are those sleeves? I love it. She originally suggested I might be up to it but I’m sooooooo glad she couldn’t resist making it herself as I’m pretty sure mine wouldn’t have looked like this.

Almost as lovely as the dress are my marigolds. They are gloriously ruffled which is odd as I’m pretty sure last years weren’t.. The cornflowers coming up in the path are staunchly blue;

After that soothing flower interlude I’m ending on something else griping my soul. Does the fact a woman lives amongst extreme poverty and crime (and is this surprising as chambermaiding is some of the most poorly paid and demeaning work around?) mean she is unlikely to be raped or sexually assaulted?

I am especially charmed by the comment made by a previous colleague comparing the foolishness of this situation to ludicrous cases where sex worker women claim they have been ‘raped’ or ‘assaulted’. Impossible no?

It was rhetorical. I’m off the garden to find some BT’s as I feel deeply in need.


I’ve been sorting stuff and tidying a corner of the bedroom. This enables me to get to the windows and de-mould them. If you sit on the end of the bed and look out of the window everything seems calm, ordered and lovely.

The rest of the house is tottering to hell in a handbasket. I’m not sure if feeling a bit wobbly means I’m more than usually sensitive to the mess or if feeling wobbly means I’m less on top of picking up and restoring order. Is it the chicken or the egg?

It’s the beginning of half term, Steve has the week booked off, I want to feel light airy and able to embrace a bit of family time wholeheartedly. It’s a bit like when you can’t get to sleep and you’re clock watching. Thinking “Christ! I have to get up in five hours, I’m going to be sooo tired – I HAVE to go to sleep…FECK – I have to get up in four hours – what is wrong with me? I REALLY have to get to sleep…BLAST – I have to get up in THREE damn hours…etc etc”

 The more you push for the feeling, the more elusive it seems. Right now happiness is the bluebird on the horizon. Which means you should just let it do its own bloody thing and get on with some hoovering.

I’m pretty sure that’s what the Dali Llama (I see him as a Llama in a  watered silk smoking jacket consulting a melting pocket watch) would say.

I’ve managed to finish two wobbly crocheted christmas baubles. (Thank you Lucy.) I’d like to embark upon something bigger. My friend Erika has offered up a pixie dress pattern, I might bridge the confidence gap with a tea cosy. I’m trying a ripple. We shall see. I’m also trying to knit a hat – the most basic kind. I really want a project to put on ravelry as my notebook seems very bare. Not seen any other scarfs…might be like joining a gardening forum and posting a photo of your Mr Cresshead eggshell. (Hell – I’m not knocking him, he’s a regular sight around here.)

Not blogging for a couple of days has left me feeling cross and unsettled. I feel unsatisfied and itchy. I can bear the state of the living room if the inside of my head is less messy and writing these posts helps a lot with that.

Right now Ida and I are engaged in a battle of wills about bedtime. She’s out-and-out winning. Of course. I distinctly remember this point with Zeph. The night you put them into their cot and close the door and they think – “why would I stay here? I don’t have to..” and out they pop. Both mine could climb out of their cot really early, in Zeph’s case before he could walk. But it took them both a while to hit this boundary being more about – I don’t have to do what you say than I can climb.

Zeph’s was short and sweet. We refer to it in this house as the night of a thousand returns. We were in a flat and I remember it clearly because we’d got a film, takeaway and bottle of wine in a hopeful, much-needed, look – we are still people and not just parents kind of night. The thud and then patter of hopeful feet and his small beaming face as he appeared in the doorway were pretty cute the first ten or so times – less so on the five hundredth. I kid you not. I insisted we stuck out the silent returns to the cot until he gave up. Which he did,  at about midnight, waaay after Steve had retired to bed. Still I got to say I told you so (I’m going to again – I TOLD YOU SO) as he didn’t do it again.

Ida has not been so straight forward. For a start we’ve got stairs now – makes the whole thing longer and in a strange way more complicated. After the first hour she just got wise, stayed very quiet and built herself a nest with all her bedding and cuddlies on the landing outside our bedroom door. We didn’t find her til we went up to bed and had been merrily downstairs congratulating ourselves on nipping it in the bud. Ha! This has set the pattern. She just waits until we go downstairs – gets her stuff – builds an alternative bed, wherever she pleases – and, basically, cocks a snook at us.

I’m at a loss – talking in bed with Steve I say we need to impose our will as Alphas. He points out we’re not wolves. I huff – instinctively I feel we need to, but this could because I spend long days as a toddler doormat. I mean – she’s going to sleep.

 Just last night it was in the bath.

Crochet yay

I am a hooker.

Brief pause for everyone to snigger.

Look at that!  Although I’d appreciate it if you didn’t look too closely. The tutorial I’m trying to follow is this one at Attic24. ( I do love Lucy.) I’m optimistically beginning my christmas bauble stash right now. Also these were the things I saw last year that made me really want to learn to crochet.

I kind of thought it’d be easier than this. I’m usually a pretty quick learner at craft stuff. I mean, never neat or accurate but I like doing stuff with my hands yet I’ve found this ludicrously difficult. Which is why I’m so happy with this botched old lot. So you’ll all have to bear with me..  

Possibly my favourite bit could be winding the cotton into those balls, isn’t that a kittens wet dream?

I think I definitely learn better by doing it wrong then redoing. How serendipitous. I was worried that my inability to count the stitches properly or always put the needle in the right place would mean I couldn’t make stuff. Luckily I think that, just like patchwork, I can see how it would look better if I did (I mean I just look up at the screen at Lucy’s) but I’m really happy with my slightly wonky version.

This is the yellow bit I was talking about before. I like the corporeal evidence of me not knowing about turning chains, feeling a bit puzzled, using Google, then correcting my error.

I like those lines as well.

Apologies for the dreadful picture quality. The colours are actually gorgeous, really vivid. They were a present from my sister and she has the best taste. See this piece –  much straighter.

I’m riding on the crest of a crocheted feelgood wave. It has even carried me over a great deal of Ida helping today.

She likes to hold the wool for me and pass the squares for me sewing up her patchwork dress. I can sneak myself ten minutes here and there by setting up stuff she likes, paint, play dough, a washing up bowl full of bubbles. Inevitably though she drifts back to what I’m doing. Mostly this warms my heart. I remember sitting at my mum’s feet sorting through the button tin. Standing next to her fashioning stuff out of the pastry scraps. Holding my hands up for Granny’s skein while she wound it. Watching the grown ups.

When Zeph gets home she transfers her loyalty. Like a little drop of mercury she’s never far from him. Poor patient boy.

Perhaps you’d like these cars and this fire engine with the really shrill siren to help with your maths Zeph? Ah – homework…

Yay! Going to do the other side now. Sod the washing up.

revelling in Ravelry

The beautiful geranium I’m considering moving. It would be great to get more plants as well. Is it okay to do that to perennials when they’re flowering?

I joined Ravelry today. My friend popped around for a cup of tea yesterday and revealed that the crochet I was quite chuffed about wasn’t what I thought. (Very kindly, she has a gift for coaching) I’ve been practising basic stitches from a book and was quite chuffed but sadly they weren’t actually doubles, half treble and trebles because I’d only been putting the hook through one loop of the chain.


I wondered why it had looked nothing like the picture.

It still looked pretty though with a line between each layer, was easily rectified and now I know double the amount of stitches. Ta da.

She wondered why I’m STILL not on ravelry what with all the tutorials and help, support and great ideas. She also reassured me AGAIN that there is no entry exam and that inspectors will not call round to check the standard of my stitches. (they’d better not…)

So – whoo hoo – I did it and whoosh, lost an afternoon. I didn’t notice that Ida had got into my seed tin and had joyfully strewn anything open around the garden. So much for my successional salad planting.

It was worth it though – I have itchy fingers to make something… just can’t quite decide what… Gah.

We went to N’s for (another tea – I didn’t drink it – I never do- I just waste their resources, let it go cold and gulp it down apologetically when they point it out) this morning and she was VERY RUDE about the yellow crochet (I hope you’re reading this lady) So I have resolved to use it to practise making an edging on and then give it to her as a wedding present. Ha double ha! (sorry now eh?)

She has the most lovely lollopy soppy dog, Orlagh, who Ida is very fond of in principle but when she surged into the front room to give us all a kiss and sit on our laps Ida retreated to the back of the sofa like an alarmed parrot. “Go way dog, I like dog, go way dog..” Nik points out the size difference – we’d probably feel a bit wary of a pony gambolling around in our space and trying to sit on us.

Best BT today is the amazing roast dinner (a gazillion Yorkshire’s) with Mum and Dad, we are all foot hoppingly excited about the circus on Saturday. Mum has brought a load of socks for Ida which are sorely needed and Dad arrives with a bag of food stuffs. Also sadly needed. I tell Mum how much we appreciate it and she recalls the food parcels her mum, my granny used to arrive with for us as kids. We talk a bit about memories and she says how connected it makes her feel to her mum to do the things for me that she appreciated from her (granny) Phew – did you follow that? sorry! It’s probably why the stuff she brings is always so spot on. As I write now I’m reflecting about how it’s important to receive gifts gracefully and with your heart open. That sometimes that’s as important as giving. Because they are a manifestation of love – and always saying, “no, no, no, you mustn’t..”  is like turning the love aside.

Also, after they’ve gone, I find my Mum has hidden ten pounds in the fridge.

I love her.

I end with a picture of Ida ‘helping’ with the crochet.


Yarn Guru

Today an angel knocked on my door to show me how to crochet. It was a brilliant surprise on a grey day. I was on my way upstairs with a tube of No Nails in an attempt to mend Z’s bed. Just enough to tide us over to the Summer of the Bunks. Which in a feat of serendipitous synchronicity my Angel is also planning. We shall swap bunk bed tips. My first one after seeing the state of this bed is to make damn sure they’re sturdy.

Anyway after a great deal of gentle coaxing and encouragement I have crocheted the beginning of  a granny square. Well kind of. Without her help the next square has spiraled crazily into a strange inverted shape. It may make a dolls hat. I don’t mind as I’m just practising the two stitches she showed me and practising with the hook. I am ridiculously happy, out of any sort of proportion. Her constant repeating of the reassuring phrase, “There aren’t any crochet police”, has relieved my fears of the door being smashed down every time I mysteriously manage to go backwards.

In my head I am planning slippers, bunting, bags, cushions, blankets – all sorts. I will happily daydream while carrying on with the strange thing and the longest scarf in the world in turns.

Abounding in BT’s, retrieving all the pictures books while tidying Zeph’s room meant we spent the afternoon on the sofa reading all our favourites to Ida. Just joyful book sharing. She is particularly taken with Handa’s Surprise, Some dogs Do and The Night Kitchen. Can’t wait to write about them on my book page. She went to bed clutching Handa’s Surprise, I hope she’s dreaming of walking through this batik bright landscape, hearing the whirr and buzz of all the insects and petting the animals.

I cut the christmas tree up and filled the green bin for tomorrows collection. Yes I know, but better late than never surely?

Made sure we all have clean PJ’s for a weekend at Alice’s, really looking forward to a bit of concentrated sister hanging out. Also pretty sure she’ll be able to help me with the crochet. Feeling a bit worried about taking the kids ice skating. Make a mental note to wear lots of leg and arse layers.

Didn’t get jammed in the big MRI scanner thing. Always a relief.