Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I survived an Earthquake

Or perhaps that should read "I felt a minor Earthquake which took place some way away".

The BBC story is here.

It was a big Earthquake for Britain - there was at least one injury. And lots of chimneys fell down. I know this is barely newsworthy any where else, but for us in Britain it is headline news.

It was just before 1am, and I felt the thing I was sitting on wobble from side to side. I heard some floorboards creaking. Not a lot else to say :-).

FWIW, if you felt it, there is a questionnaire at the British Geological Survey here.

The last time I felt an Earthquake, it was like having a hippo turning over several times in bed next to me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

English coast

We went to the Suffolk coast last weekend. The weather was cold, windy and sunny. The colours were fascinating in the clear light: the sky really was this even clear blue.

seagull in very blue sky

Another shot, looking up a cliff, catching the bushes silhouetted against the sky.

bushes against clear blue sky

Equally fascnating was the sea. The colour was a dark greeny-purple.

sea and sky and sand

One photo just caught a glimpse of the wind turbine in Lowestoft on Saturday. The sails had been removed following a lightning strike.

wind turbine post

By Sunday morning, they had put them back on: if I'd known in advance I'd have tried for better photos. In the little basket hanging down from the crane there are two people: you don't get a sense of the scale from just looking at it.

wind turbine with sails

Craft wise, I am making a funky fur hat for Kiddo. Yes I know some people are snobbish about acrylic and polyester. OTOH, she specifically asked for it, and I like Sirdar Funky Fur. It feels nice, and is easy to knit with: well you can't see the stitches very well, but if you don't need tolook at it, it is easy to knit. When I took this photo it was looking rather caterpillar like, but it has grown widthwise then.
knitting in leafless tree
The yarn came from a wool shop in Lowestoft "at the top of town". If you start in the main part of town, say by Chads or the library and keep walking through the pedestrianised centre - away from the station - then over at the traffic lights and keep going upwards a little way, there is a smallish shop on the right. It had a good range of medium priced brands, including sock wool.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Email - what's that?

I don't seem to be able to email out at the moment. I'm getting some bounce messages, but not for every message I send. But I have no evidence that the others are getting through.

(My usenet posts are getting out. Hmmm.)

According to blogger dashboard, I have posted 195 times. I think I will do another giveaway when I get to 200 posts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Making Squares

I borrowed a new crochet book from the library last week: Crochet Inspirations by Sasha Kagan. It has about 200 crochet stitch patterns: ranging from the simple double crochet up to complicated pineapple mats.

It has re-inspired my Learn to Crochet blanket.

Peephole granny(144):

peephole granney square

Catherine Wheels (39 - unfinished):
crochet rectangle with circlesIn the book the wheels are more circular and stacked: mine are off-set and more blocky. I still like the effect.

This is a good book of stitch patterns. There are plenty of clear pictures, and every pattern has both written instructions and a chart. The written instructions use US terms, as does the chart key, but it includes a conversion table from US to UK/Australian terms.

This is not suitable for a complete beginner as it does not include a guide on how to make the basic stitches (eg a double crochet). OTOH, any extra explanations are extremely clear: for instance in the description of the "cluster 7" stitch (needed for the Catherine Wheels), it tells you to do the partial stitch 7 times, then "draw through all 8 loops on hook". These little details make it very usable. Another little detail is that the website has a list of all the yarns used in the book.

I've also been making a stripy square, but have no photos. My next pattern from the book will be crosshatch (61).

I made another friendship star using a different method.
patchwork square
I wanted to reduce the amount of bulk (I was not trying for accuracy), and I succeeded in that. But I didn't like making it as much. It was fiddlier in the sense that it took more thinking - I was sewing triangles to a parallelagram, and appliqued the other star points in place. I expect it was like making a Dear Jane block, but it just seemed like too much pfaffing.

I even prefer the look of the proper Friendship Square
square of

Monday, February 04, 2008

Impressions: 22 1/2 hours in Paris

Arc de Triumph at the end of a street


A building with the words "wine and beer" painted in large letters on the side.

Double decker passenger trains.

Rail side graffetti.


Crates of carefully arranged colourful fruit outside shop doors.

Elaborate carvings above doors and windows.

Collars placed just so, on elegantly dressed French men and women.

A pile of woven scarfs in a department store.

Bolts of liberty fabrics for 27 Euro per metre.

Nearby, a shop with sewing machines and a log cabin quilt in Kaffe Fasset colours on the wall: at the back three women sit, talking or sewing.

(Rue de Castellane, near Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.)


White unicorns, one with a scorpion on its back.

A white wrap, possibly knitted from Kidsilk Haze, or Tilli Thomas.

White stoles being brought to the tables, for cold ladies to drape elegantly around their shoulders.

Chocolate Asiette with deep red sauce.


Fresh pineapple in the fruit salad, as sweet as if it had been just been plucked from the tree.

"Je voudrai une savon, si vous plait."

The handbag I yearn for, in the window of a shop which is shut on Sundays.

Touristy t-shirts and thank-you chocolates to take home.


Anxiously waiting for our luggage to be brought to the pavement outside the hotel.

Foreign place names in a foreign language carved in the facade of Gare de Nord.

Brown-grassed railway cuttings, made colourful with the red stems of leafless bushes.