Cut price knitting …


We visit charity shops quite often. Wetherby has ten charity shops that I know about and there may possibly be another one. Often when we go, I’m on the lookout for knitting yarn. I don’t need any as my wife will confirm, but if it’s a bargain, then I’m up Wetherby (2)for it. Trouble is, yarn does not seem to be very cheap in these type of shops. Most have some, but it is usually small amounts of left-overs and you never know what type it is (unless you’re a real expert). You can usually tell if its wool or acrylic, but without the band, I wouldn’t know if it was Aran or Double Knit. So although I look, I rarely buy any.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in one of the really popular shops and noticed that there was a bag of yarn that had five new balls and a couple of end scrap balls. It was very reasonably priced Yarnespecially for the amount at £3.50. I was tempted, really tempted and had almost decided when I felt a tap on the shoulder. I stood up and turned round, thinking it was my wife. Turned out to be a rather well dressed lady who was holding one of those long women’s cardigans that were fashionable some years ago. She smiled and asked if the yarn I was looking at was for me. I told her it was, but I wasn’t sure if to buy it. She handed me the cardigan and told me that this was a better buy. I was about to say that I didn’t want a cardigan, when she pre-emptied my thoughts. “You can get this cardigan for only £3.99. It has about 10 times the wool you have there, and there is a wash-care label still inside!” she said. She then explained how she never bought wool in charity shops and only every bought made-up woollen clothes which she would unpick (I think the term is frogging) and re-use.

It sounds a brilliant idea, but I’m not sure if I could ever “rip back” or “frog” such a large piece of clothing.

It’s often described so …


Not so by fellow bloggers, but by ‘the great unwashed’ that don’t have a blog. I think I have blogged about this before (can’t find the post though), but often get the comment “So what’s your blog about? ” to which I always reply, “It’s not about anything really.” That’s when I get the comment “That’s a bit vague, isn’t it? ” Well it maybe, but if they took the risk and read it, they could be surprised.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. If you’ve been kind enough to have a look at my profile, you will know I’m a knitter. About 3 years ago, I was asked by a ‘friend’ to help with a knitting pattern. Talk about vague, the pattern was originally written in French, and then badly translated into Greek and then even worsley(?) translated into English. It must have translated by someone who could not speak either Greek or English and possibly not French originally. I did eventually manage to get hold of the French copy and, with a lot of help got it translated into English. The problem was with the written description. There was a chart, and it was that that I used to translate it.

Daily Prompt: Knitting disaster …


My attempt to increase my skill level with double pointed needles (DPNs) has been somewhat thwarted today. I have been knitting a beanie hat on circular needles with the full knowledge that I would eventually Beaniehave to revert to DPNs as the number of stitches decreased. It was to be an important learning curve as I’ve never quite cracked the skill. Today was a large set back in that attempt, and this is what happened.

It became apparent, that I would soon need to add in a new ball of yarn. Like I had been told, I decided that the beginning of round 1 of the 8 round pattern was the place to start. New ball joined and tails woven in as I went along, when I noticed Disaster number 1. I had somehow made an error in the pattern. I traced it back to about 12 stitches from the start of the round. Not to worry, I’ll take it back. I was just about to start when the phone went. Disaster number 2 came as I stood up. My foot caught in some loose yarn and it pulled about 20 stitches off the needle. Shouldn’t be a problem I thought and dropped the lot on the floor, so as not to make things worse. I answered the phone as quickly as I could and went back to my knitting. Disaster number 3 reared its ugly head as I bent to pick the work up. I accidentally stepped on the needle and it snapped (bamboo needles) and more stitches fell off only this time unravelling parts of the last three rounds.

The broken needle is in the bin, the yarn rewound and back in the stash cupboard and the pattern moved to “Try again” folder on my computer.

Mrs H is going to be devastated when she notices. She hates it when I pull any knitting out.

A little annoying …


I’ve mentioned this before on here. I’m a knitter! I am sometimes tempted to call myself a ‘male knitter, but I do try to avoid that categorisation. I’ve been knitting since around 1965, so since I was around 10 years old. My grandmother taught me how to do the plain Knit stitch and my mother followed it up with cast on, cast off and the Purl stitch. I’m not a big fan of large knitting projects as I get bored with them. I’m currently 9/10s of the way through a sleeveless pullover for me and I’m fed up with it. It’s taken me since just after Christmas and to be honest, I don’t really  like it.  I think I’m gong to pull it all out, but K*** (who is not a knitter, so doesn’t understand) will have a fit! She cannot comprehend how I could do that. I think I will stick to smaller items in future. Hats, scarves and mittens that kind of thing. Things that are finished in a couple of hours/days.

Now that’s not the point of this post. No what is ‘a little annoying ’ is actually more than a little annoying, in fact, it’s very annoying. It’s the periodical stands in some shops and supermarkets

I enjoy reading knitting, and to some extent general crafting, magazines and I actually subscribe to one of the most popular knitting ones. However, I’ve noticed that in many shops, the knitting, sewing, crocheting and crafting magazines, tend to be bundled together next to or in the same place as the more specific ‘Women’s’ magazines. Now I don’t mind the odd looks I get when I pick up a copy of “L*** K***” magazine, but am not keen on the comments I sometime get. Only last month, I was rummaging through the magazines when a shop assistant asked me if I needed some help. I told her the magazine I was looking for but neither of us could find it. I said I was not too sure of the title, and to my shock the girl suggested that I ring my wife and check the title!  Her face was a mixture of horror, disbelief and amusement when I explained that the magazine was for me!

When I returned home, I wrote to the head office (it was a large supermarket chain) to explain my disappointment at this attitude. I did not mention the assistants name as it was not her fault, more the supermarkets policy. I’m still awaiting a reply, but have noticed that the said magazines are now located in a section called “Hobbies and Pastimes”. So a success I think.

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That’s it for now, but just reading this back … I really should try and write some positive posts.

It’s the August Bank Holiday and Leeds Festival …


This is that time of the year, when the Leeds and Reading Festival takes place. These are two of the largest music festivals in the UK, and take place simultaneous over Friday to Sunday. There are usually the same acts appearing at both sites over the Image result for leeds festival 2017three days. I was going to link to festival, but know of old that these links often simply disappear, so I’m going to make do with a couple of images. We live quite close to the site, so we get all the traffic and noise issues. Happily, Image result for leeds festival 2017the organisers seem to have got the traffic problems under control this year, as there has not (yet) been a repeat of the 5 hour tail-backs on some of the approach roads. The noise? Well it all depend on the wind direction. If the wind is in a certain direction, we do get the continuous hum from the motorway so when  that happens we do get some of the festival noise, but it’s not been loud enough to notice.

I have been before, back in 2011. The Parish Council of Bramham and Thorner are allocated a number of free ‘Guest’ tickets. From BBC NewsThese ‘sweetener tickets’ are then sold to genuine residents at an extremely discounted rate, with the funds going to local projects. Every year since 2011, I’ve thought about going again, but at the last minute, I back down. I don’t think K*** would enjoy it and I wouldn’t want to go on my own. But who knows how I will feel next year? I have to admit, even though the weather was bad that year with some rain on each of the 3 days, it is quite an experience. The weather has been sort of kind this year, except for the 23rd this month, when we experienced 3 weeks rain in one hour! Now that was a wet day!

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I’ve come to a decision! Crochet is not my thing and I’m dumping my hooks (except a 3.5mm and 6mm). I can knit. I do knit. I will have a go at any knitting pattern or stitch that you care to through at me, but I totally fail at crochet. I just cannot get my head/hands around it. I’ve watched all the tutorials and even had a ‘one-to-one’ with a work colleague and I still cannot do it. It looks like the old ‘Granny knots’ we used to do when I was a kid. So I’m calling it a day. I’ll keep the two hooks I mention, as they can be very useful to pick up dropped stitches and the like, but the rest …gone!

It’s been a long week …


I’m referring to the holiday my wife is on at the moment. As I’ve not posted for some time, I’ll get you up to speed. Around the middle of April, K****s sister and daughter, returned from a week away in Gran Canaria. She returned with an offer that K*** should join them on their next trip. There was much discussion about this, with me having a lot of misgivings about the whole thing. Firstly, it’s a ‘beach, bar and pool type of holiday, which I understood was not the type of holiday K*** enjoyed. Secondly there was R*** to consider. How would he react, coming home from respite to find his mother not at home, and not going to be home for another 4 days. Then there is the cost. K*** tells me that it’s a ‘one-off’, but isn’t that waste of all the money it cost for a new passport? And what about all the new clothes … more expense. Anyway, she is back on Tuesday. R*** and me will both be pleased, and as I say, it’s been a long week. I had a list of jobs that I wanted to get done, which I managed to do in between the rain and the wind we had here. I suppose the worst part of the experience is the lack of conversation. I went to the pub a couple of evenings, but there is only so much you can chat about with people that you don’t really know. It will be nice to get back to what we call normality.

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I’ve been a bit lazy with this blog over the past couple of months. To be honest, I’ve not really had much I wanted to say. I wanted to stay clear of politics as that is all that people have been talking about for the past month. I know from past experience, that it is one way to ‘lose friends and annoy people. That is something I can do without any external help, thank you very much.

I tend to update this blog in the late evening. I thought, that this retirement (early) would give me lots more time to do things like this blog, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way. It still late at night, when K*** and R*** have gone to bed, that I think ”I must do a blog post”, and then I get distracted and end up not doing anything. I was going to look for a part-time job. That’s not happened. I signed up with a recruitment agency, but the jobs they have come up with are never appropriate. I promised myself that I would do more writing, but I don’t seem to have had any ideas that I could write about. I have done a fair bit of knitting though. A three beanie hats, five headbands, a pair of wrist warmers, a couple of scarves and I’m a quarter of the way through a sleeveless jumper. So I’ve not been sitting on my hands, so to speak.

I shall stop now as I don’t want to start rambling on about anything. I think I shall make a mental note to think about updating this effort at least once a week. I’ll put a note in my diary. See if that makes a difference!

The result and other things …


I have decided. There shall be NO single theme in this blog. There are a few reasons, but the main one is that this blog is just me. I started it as a means of practicing my writing. The intention was that I would mainly read other writers posts and glean what knowledge and tips I could pick up to improve my writing and use that to post my own work. That part of the plan is still working, but to post my own work, I have to do some!

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Today it’s “Let’s Rip Off People By Pretending We Care About The Romantic Things In Life When They Have Just Started To Get Over Christmas” Day. Or as it is known “Valentines Day.” To be accurate it’s actually Saint Valentines Day, but in this day and age of religious intolerance, people tend to forget the ‘Saint’ part. It is just a money making con by retailers, to encourage people to part with money that they don’t probably have. You may have guessed by now, that I’m not a fan! I shall leave it there!

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One of the things I said I would do when I retire was to clear out some the junk we have horded over the past twenty (call that forty) years. The loft is ridiculously full of said junk, and the garage is not far behind. I took some stuff to the tip last week and yesterday spent a couple of hours trying to identify what we wanted to get rid of. I found a bag full of trousers. Some of them were mine that had mysteriously shrunk over the years, particularly in the waist area. I don’t know how that happens at all! Some of them were new pants that K*** had bought for R*** in the sales and such. This brings me, in a round about way to the sizing of some of those clothes.

I was ironing some of them this morning and was making a note of the leg length. Four pairs had an inside leg measurement of 29”, but they all seemed to be different lengths. Out with my trusted tape measure, and I find that one pair is indeed 29”, but two pairs are 31” and one was actually 32”. All were from the same store and all the same style. Then to cap it all, another pair had a size of ‘15 years’! How do they measure a size by a persons age? When I was 15, I was just a little over 5ft. Most of my class were around the 5ft 6in, but there was at least two, maybe three guys who were over 6ft.

I really do get a bit frustrated and angry with how clothes are sized.

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To IMAG0559finish up, this is the latest of my knitting ‘projects’. It’s a simple scarf that I have been on with for a couple of days. It was an easy pattern to work with and I thought I would share it with you. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not going to have a theme for my blog, and I’ll just throw in things like this whenever the fancy takes me.

Why do they have to be ‘projects’? It’s just a hobby.