Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Turtle Walks and Heavy Horses

Just as I feared! You’ve all been off doing exciting stuff – and I haven’t been there to see it all – just a day and a half I’m off the airwaves, and there you all are – knitting, cooking, playing with animals, sheep planning mass breakouts! What am I going to do with you?

So, since I’ve been absent I’ve:

1. Finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Liked it (of course) but thought it could benefit from stronger editing.


Also, can someone please tell me a) how did the sword get back to the hat? And b) How did Draco end up as the wand’s master when Snape killed Dumbledore?

2. I cast on Polyglot socks and discovered after knitting the first full repeat that there was a mistake in the pattern and I ended up doubling the number of stitches in 10 rows!!! Frogged it (2 nights work, not including the 2 nights spent untangling the skein to ball it, making a complete dog’s breakfast of my new ball winder, untangling it all again, taking the mess off the ball winder, rewinding and re-balling it by hand and putting it in a ziplock, as I would have done originally had I not had the new ball winder – decided to watch the instructional video on YouTube) and emailed the designer in a panic, only to discover there WAS a problem with the pattern but I wasn’t sent the corrected chart – she was very quick to get it to me though.

3. the feather and fan scarf at playgroup yesterday

4. Cast on a plain pair of socks in Patonyle faux fairisle for travelling and meetings

5. Cast on and did 2 pattern repeats of Happy Spider’s Turtle Walk socks in JoJoland Melody (I would have searched out some of Spidey’s own gorgeous wool, but I was so upset about the Polyglot socks I grabbed some reasonable wool from the downstairs stash)

6. Felted and semi dried the Squatty sidekick. Tips: Increases and decreases in the side stitches I think for the next couple. Slightly longer strap and less bound off stitches between the flap edges and straps. Waiting for it to dry.

It’s been wild weather here and there’s been little prospect of playing outside from about lunchtime yesterday. I’ve decided I feel a bit naked without a big knitting project, so I’m going to try the ball winder again with the Rowan for Juno.

This will bring me up to 3 WIPs – which is my limit. On the other hand. Maybe I should just finish the Turtle Walk socks and then do Juno. Decisions, Decisions.

I notice that some of you are enjoying the animal yarns (he, he). As we lived on a farm, we always had lots of animals drifting in and out of our orbit. Even the mice which lived in our house (no, not pets – the sort that come out at night and poo in the cupboards!) had names – my mother actually used to put food out for them. One (particularly fat and buck toothed) was called Mousey Tung. The extremely fat and slow moving one was called Enormouse. How they managed to stick around in a house full of cats (we always had at least 3) is beyond me!

Mostly, the sheep weren’t distinguished enough, with strong enough personalities to get their own names. Bottle fed lambs circulated through the house, drank formula out of Seppelt’s Solero sherry bottles with teats on (much to the disgust of our Brethren neighbours who were convinced we were enticing them into a life of alcohol and vice), grew strong and were either matched with a ewe who had lost lambs or were weaned and went back to the flock.

The real stars of the farm were the collection of horses. My mother was a bit scared of horses (this is a women whose hobby, prior to moving to Australia from Wales and settling down with Dad, was mountain climbing. She also went around Europe on the back of a BSA motorbike with a former boyfriend). But she was a softie (our farming practices were the source of enormous amounts of laughter from the REAL farmers around us). So she bought an elderly Clydsesdale mare, Jewel, to save her from the knackers. This cost her 45 dollars (or 2 weeks housekeeping). For 2 weeks we ate lots of porridge and potatoes. Jewel was in her early twenties (we think), was calm and placid, and suffered from chronic greasy heel, which required baths in copper sulphate and bran poultices. She generally got the sack containing the poultice off her leg and ate it (the poultice, not the sack). A bran poultice has the same ingredients as bran mash.

She hated the copper sulphate wash, so generally, someone had to distract her with food at the front end, while someone else crept around the back end with a bucket of the wash and got as close as possible before hurling the contents at her heels. She generally trotted off, but became extremely wary of buckets. If there was food in a bucket, we had to put it down and back away, allowing her to investigate its contents!

Jewel eventually died of extreme old age, having had a loving and lengthy retirement. We used to sit on her very broad back and play cards, while she ambled along eating grass (pulling herself along by her teeth). She never minded. The only time I ever saw her moving quickly was when she saw a bucket!


Rose Red said...

Mousey Tung - Ha! I laughed out loud!!

Re HP - these are my thoughts:
a) My theory on the sword is that the sword comes out of the hat for a true Gryffindor, no matter where it actually is - ie the goblin (whose name I've forgotten) was wrong in claiming to be it's true owner - the true owner is Godric Gryffindor.

b) At the end of the Half-Blood Prince, Draco disarmed Dumbledore (ie took his wand - the Elder Wand) and I think that is what made him the true owner of the Elder Wand - not Snape, who killed him after he was disarmed.

(still giggling about Mousey Tung!)

Georgie said...

I love your mum's sense of humour - mousey tung indeed! Im still giggling too...

Gosh but youve been busy - think about how much more youd get done if you werent blogging!!! But we'd all miss you too much ;-) and the animal stories. You've got me thinking about all the animals in my upbrining, but theyre not nearly as colourful or well-named!

Thats gorgeous yarn for the turtle walk socks too, btw.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

While she would not allow the mice to stick around and be named, my neighbour has a lot in common with your mom. In the short time we've lived here, she has had several lambs bottle fed in her home and looked after a couple of pot bellied pig runts. She is also the dumping ground for excess animals (I even have an extra rooster boarding at her place.)
On the knitting home front...I love those socks....and only 3 WIPs???? don't think that I could limit myself that way.

MadMad said...

NO! No spoilers - now I can't read your post, man! (It's not that I am the slowest reader in the world, it's just that well, who cares, long story involving houseguests (of course) who just up and STOLE IT FROM ME TO READ FIRST and so I am now the only person who hasn't finished HP - the big fat ending, and now I can't read your post either. Oh well. I shall return.