You have to see this

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My Little Darling has taken to padding about the house in a pair of old knitted slippers. So I decided to experiment with crocheting some and seeing if I could do it all in one piece. So i grabbed some scraps of wool and here is the result.

Start at the toe with a short chain (I did 7 ch) and crochet all round, doing several (2 or 3) stitches into each end chain. dc (double crochet) didn’t grow fast enough for lazy me, tr (trebles) were too lacy but htr (half trebles) seemed to be a suitable compromise between the two.

Keep adding rounds of crochet as the slipper creeps up the foot. KEEP TRYING IT ON.  Sometimes you will need to do the odd 2 stitches into a “hole” to allow the slipper to increase in width to take your widening/fattening out foot.

My feet are a UK size 7 and I continued till I had done about 13cm.

Then you will crochet down one SIDE of the slipper, under the bottom, then up the other side. STOP.

TURN. Go back down the side, under the bottom of the slipper, and up the other side. TURN

Keep doing this until your “working edge will meet itself UP the back of your heel. I will try to draw a diagram and load it later.

Allow the workind edge to meet itself at the back of your heel and slst the slipper together forming a seam up the back of your heel. If you pick up the “inside” stitch then you will forma decorative double rib up the back of your heel and the inside will be smooth and comfortable.

I then did 3 rows of dc around the opening where your foot goes in, missing a “hole” at each corner. Also added a decorative “thingy” on the front of the slipper.

Jurying her Trifles

Reading DoveGreyReader’s blogpost this morning reminded me of Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” / “Trifles” her short story and play in which the neighbouring women are able to “read” the state of mind of a woman whose husband has been murdered. Looking at the stitches in her patchwork quilt they can see that at one point all was not well. Would it be possible to guess someones state of mind from work they post on their blogs? Will someone guess that the reason I knittted up a couple of shawls in quick succession is because our heating keeps breaking down and I need to wear a shawl on top of a jumper? Or will they deduce that I need comfort and only a shawl can provide that woolly hug?

If someone doesn’t post does that mean they are happy and are enjoying real life so much that they forgot about the virtual world?  Should we read between the lines when all seems sweetness and light and we are invited to read about the perfect home, perfect spouse and perfect children? I was recently brought up with a jolt when I senses something not right in one blog that I regularly read.  Just two sentences suggested that one member of the family would no longer be living in that perfectly-crafted home I wonder if someone will be writing a dissertation based on blog evidence (primary sources?) any day soon.

Honey, I Read a Book

Even a lapsed reader has to read sometimes, so over the last few days I have been reading two books. The first, snatched in the few minutes of train travel from home to work and back home again, is “Heroes & Villains” by Angela Carter. The book is slim, an attribute I appreciate. I don’t share the publishers outlook that a book has to be a doorstep to be worthy of publishing. It’s not that I can’t read a lengthy tome, I proved my stamina with “Pinkerton’s Sister” by Peter Rushforth, when all around were falling by the wayside, rather, I choose not to if something wonderful can be contained in just a few well-crafted pages.

I picked up “Heroes & Villains” because it is by the blessed Angela Carter, a writer who died too soon, so of course all her books shoul be read and treasured. I find that I am continuing to read “Heroes & Villains”  because I should, rather than because I can’t put it down or because I find reading it such a joy. I’d never heard of the book until I stumbled across it on the shelves of a charity shop and I wonder what other readers think of this work of hers? Was it one of her best books, or one that should be allowed to lurk in obscurity. It is slim and so I shall persevere. Now that I have two “free” days a week maybe I should stretch my mind a little, do some guided reading or even enrol in an adult education class. There are many references to art, literature, philosophy and disciplines I have probably never heard of. Perhaps I am just too dim to see what the book is about.

The other book that I am reading is still only in working manuscript form. It is my baby sister’s first novel. I have seen it in many pieces, rearranged and reordered. Currently the game is to find a title that gives an indication of the content. The working title, the one we all know and love, tells the prospective reader nothing and so we have been brainstorming to find one that magically makes this oeuvre the book that must be published.
Somehow I don’t think “Honey I Shagged a Crow” will turn this new work into  the fastest selling best-seller since “The Da Vinci Code”.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

As I stepped off the train last night it was a little chilly around the earlobes. Maybe I’m growing old and will soon be seen donning Damart thermals as autumn changes to winter. There was a time when I enjoyed the winter weather, especially the year that I learnt to cross-country ski.


Here’s a picture from that year. Was it really so long ago, it seems like yesterday.

Spinning into Space

Are you a hoarder, or a chucker? If you are a chucker then I suggest you never come here again because I think chucking must be against my religion. Intellectually I know it is something that must be done but like bungee jumping or parachuting, it’s something I don’t even like to think about.

Nevertheless, occasionally I grit my teeth grasp the frame of the aircraft, whoops, I mean room, walk in or rather hop skip and jump over the piles of detritis and see if there’s any way I can reduce the mass. I had a brainwave yesterday. Instead of chucking I will convert things. You’ve already seen my earth mother shawl, which I suppose was a preliminary attempt at conversion but yesterday I went right back to the raw basics.

fleeceI think I have a few of these (fleeces) scattered around the house. Most of them are safely enclosed in cotton bags so they remain invisible to normal people. This one, still full of oozy orange lanolin is open to view so I decided to disguise it by using my trusty Ashford traditional Spinning Wheel

spinning-wheeland convert the fleece into yarn

yarn-on-bobbin1It was a cunning plan but I forgot that essential ingredient – TIME !!

So far I have managed two bobbins full which actually is only one bobbin, because the singles have to be plied together to make a stronger yarn.  Remember I’ve got a whole sheep in that basket (or its fleece anyway) and Rome wasn’t spun in a day!!

So have I any more space in my house? Of course not. All I’ve done is drag a few things out into the light of day and make more of a mess than there was in the first place.

Not only ONLINE but also IN PRINT

One of my favourite bloggers, DoveGreyReader is IN PRINT yet again.

If you live down in the West Country and strolled along to your newsagents on Saturday to pick up a copy of the WESTERN MORNING NEWS you would not have been able to miss the large illustrated article about her and her blog.  However, if like me you only dream about living in that neck of the woods then you will have to be content with clicking on the headline below and reading the article online.

Lynne is online literary legend

Saturday, November 15, 2008,

I first “met” Lynne virtually through an online book group that she moderated so imperceptibly that I was unaware that it was her group. After a year of daily chatting with her and the other members of the group, several of us spent a few days at a mini book conference at a Cambridge college enjoying talks, seminars and cocoa dorm parties with equal pleasure.

Then blogs were invented and most members of the group tentatively began their own, some such as DoveGreyReader, Random Jottings, Stuck-in-a-Book & Harriet Devine, with tremendous success.

I’m pleased to see the world outside the blogosphere recognise the contribution that bloggers such as as DGR (DoveGreyReader) bring to the literary world.

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