Thursday, April 03, 2008


Lots of little things going on, but nothing I can make into a full-on blogpost.

The Tax Credits letter has been sent. So that doesn't need worrying about for a while again.

Steve passed his second exam with flying colours. There's two more to go.

Littlun is due to start at the kindergarten/reception type class at the school on Tuesday, doing half days, five days a week. However due to an administrative snarl-up, Pip won't know if he's doing mornings or afternoons until Monday.

Recycling has been properly introduced in this area. I am incredibly relieved - it was horrible not being able to do it any more after having really got into the habit back in Lowestoft. It's not exactly the same system as I was used to, but they've been really good about sending out the leaflets and whatnot.

What they're not so good at is dealing with queries. The helpline has been utterly swamped. According to the local paper, this is mostly by people who haven't read the leaflet with the list of collection dates, people who are complaining that the system is too complicated (let's put it this way: even I can understand it, so it can't be that hard), and people complaining that the bins are 'unsightly' so they don't want them at the front of their properties and won't give the bin-men access to the back. So, we took the path of least resistance and shelled out a whole £2.99 for a food-caddy from the supermarket rather than messing about to claim our free one.

I've totally slowed down on knitting the jumper because I have to write out longhand the row-by-row instructions for the shoulder shaping to make sure I've really understood it. The instructions in the pattern book are written to incorporate several sizes of one pattern. So for example an instruction might be written as "Cast off 2 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12) sts". If you are knitting the very small size, you cast off 2 sts. If you are knitting the biggest size, you cast off 12 sts. You see? But me, I'm medium-sized, and I keep forgetting which set of numbers I'm meant to be paying attention to and it drives me mad, so I write out the pattern instead.

The sock is coming along nicely. It is the second sock of the birthday pair, made of the stripy Regia Silk yarn I bought with my birthday money back in January. I've turned the heel and have about 10 more rows for the instep and then it's just round and round and round until I get to the toe decreases. Steve 'helpfully' offered that if I was stuck for what to knit next, he could always frog them for me so that I could do them all over again. I am pleased to report that I did NOT skewer him with a 2.5mm double pointed needle, but it was a close call.

And to round off, a Roomba Report. I still love it, I still think it's some of the best money I've ever spent, although I do regret spending the money and wouldn't have done if I'd known how things were going to pan out. But then I suppose that's the same for everyone. Anyway, yes, the Roomba, or "Bloop" as he is now affectionately known, is doing sterling work of keeping the carpets clean for me, but we did have a little incident the other day.

It involved a reel of black cotton that we are both quite sure was safely on a shelf before we pressed the button and closed the door. Perhaps the breeze from the door closing was what caused the reel to fall to the floor. Or perhaps Bloop bumped into the shelf a little bit hard. We don't know - after all, the point is, you don't have to be in the room while it's cleaning.

Thing is, if you're using a conventional vaccuum cleaner, then when you spot a cotton reel on the floor, you stop. You pick up the cotton reel and you place it somewhere safe. If the vaccuum cleaner has already sucked up the end, then you turn it off, untangle it, and only then do you attempt to continue cleaning. Not so for Bloop. He keeps going, and going, and going, and because of how he works, twisting and turning and moving all the time... eventually he had got the entire length of thread wound around his brushes, upon which, he sucked up the plastic reel as well, which finally jammed the brushes and caused him to make his "uh-oh" noise.

Black cotton thread wound tightly in a non-linear fashion onto black brushes. Oh boy. It wouldn't unwind at all. We had to try three different pairs of scissors to cut it all off without cutting the brushes themselves. It was a tricky job. But, even so, after maybe an hour of surgery, it was all sorted out and Bloop was able to do the whole room again, properly.

Steve has presented the incident as being further proof of Bloop's malevolent sentience. Not only does my robot want to join in the knitting, but he even knows better than to have a first try with any of my decent yarn.


erasmus (aka jiva) said...

on the jumper theme... on the pattern if you don't want to write all over the pattern, photocopy it and circle or highlight your size all the way down. And or colour in black the rest so you cant read them. THEN you don't have to completely re-write it.

good luck! you've got more guts than me attempting a jumper.

Mary said...

A good idea, but the bit I wasn't admitting is that I lose my place with the formatting too. I need it to be laid out like:

Row 1: Do this
Row 2: Do that
Row 3: Do the other
Repeat these 3 rows 5 times

rather than a solid block of text going next row: X next row: Y next row Z repeat from * until gibber dec 2 alt foll row and Timmy falls down the well.

I can follow the gibberish, especially when lovely fellow-knitters don't mind having a scan to make sure I'm on the right tracks, but... well, I'm still at that stage where it's like translating a foreign language, I can't yet simply read it and get the sense of it.

(also - yes, on the one hand it is an adult-sized jumper. However, apart from the shaping, it's ENTIRELY stockinette. All I have to do is keep going.)

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