Monday, May 28, 2012

Victoria and Chuncho

Two new additions have joined the Moog household.

First, I'd like to introduce you to my beautiful new friend Victoria, who came to me from another Ravelry user, who sadly found her treadles to be too gentle for her poorly legs and decided to rehome her.

Here she is - Victoria Moog.

Isn't she a pretty girl? She's tiny, sweet and quick and takes a bit of keeping up with and so far this is nearly all we've had time for...

This is Shetland Moorit wool - very soft and lovely to spin. I've acquired a little stash of undyed fibres to practice on as they were so much cheaper than the pretty dyed ones and as a beginner I can whizz through that stuff at quite a rate without necessarily getting usable yarn as a result!

Next, I want to introduce you to Chuncho.

Off the needles today and they only took three months and one week to knit!

That's not strictly true as I wasn't actually knitting them for three months and one week. I cast on and knit the cuff on sock 1 then distracted myself from the scary colourwork by casting on something new. Then I came back to Chuncho and got past the heel on sock 1 before I got distracted again. With sock 1 finished (after over two and a half months) I got cracking on sock 2 for a couple of days and was really making progress before I ignored them in favour of playing with my new friend (see above) - I was also trying to ignore the fact that I was scared of doing that chequerboard heel again. This weekend I decided enough was enough so I put my big girl panties on and made myself knit and knit and knit until they were done. Finished. Complete. Not sure if I dare wear them after all that work - might frame them instead.

I have decided that if I do wear them it'll be in a very British way indeed, with open toed sandals - flashing my Chunchos for all the world to see!

Moogs xxx

p.s. this pesky comments thing, where some of you are unable to leave a comment - I've tried letting Blogger know again but doubt I'll get any response. I have found what I hope is a useful troubleshooting guide and have made the changes suggested. If that doesn't work you might need to check you have 3rd Party Cookies enabled on your security settings - here's a link to how to do it.
If that fails I have to do something very scary by backing up my blog (somehow) then setting the whole thing up again from scratch - gulp!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Impatient, moi?

It's been a very exciting week in the house of Moog.

 A few days ago I met up with my new spinning friend Dawn, after 'meeting' in the UK Spinners group on Ravelry. In our online chat we discovered we only live a mile apart and Dawn very kindly invited me into her home to play with her three spinning wheels.

So it was that I found myself spending a lovely morning spinning and chatting with Dawn, and discovering that she hails from the West Midlands just like me. It was like we'd known each other for ages and I immediately felt relaxed in her company. The internet is such an amazing place for meeting like-minded people.

Incredibly, just a couple of hours after meeting for the first time Dawn entrusted me with one of her precious wheels! I brought home her beautiful Ashford Traditional wheel and have been having a brilliant time getting to know this wonderful 'new' craft.

I think it's safe to say I've fallen in love with spinning.

This is the proceeds of my first lone spinning session. They're a bit thick and thin and a bit overpsun in places but you know, I absolutely love them!

I was amazed at just how fast wheel spinning is compared to using a drop spindle and steamed through two lots of fibre in no time. Now I can see why spinners start using raw fleece or spinning their dog hair!!

It could be a while before I spin anything suitable for socks but I'm going to have lots of fun practising.....and in the next few days I'll be welcoming a new little wooden friend into my life :o)

Happy spinning!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moog family trip to Ireland 2012 - very photo heavy post!

Mr Moog and I have wanted to visit Ireland for years and this Easter we finally set sail across the Irish Sea, from Pembroke Dock to Rosslaire. We had a wonderful two weeks and Ireland was everything we'd dreamed of and more and here are the photos to prove it...

Week 1, Fethard on Sea, Co Wexford and the beach, five minutes walk from our cottage.

Fossils embedded in the limestone rocks at Hook Lighthouse, on the Hook Peninsula - Monster and I spent a very happy hour pootling about on the fossil filled rocks trying to find the biggest ones.

Avoca, Wicklow National Park - the location for Ballykissangel and home to the beautiful Avoca Weavers Watermill where we enjoyed a very delicious lunch. Sadly the village looked like it was suffering from the effects of the dramatic slump in the Irish economy but, as with everywhere we visited, the people were wonderful - warm and welcoming and always happy to help.

Mr Moog spotting gannets diving offshore at Kilmore Quay. My mum was a keen birdwatcher and her favourite bird was the gannet. In fact, just days before she died my brother and sis-in-law drove her and Dad all the way to Edinburgh, for a boat trip to see the awesome sight of the gannets diving at Bass Rock, something she had always longed to do.
Ireland gave us many gannet sightings and we really felt Mum was there with us every single time.

The fishing fleet at Kilmore Quay. I do love wandering about in a busy fishing port with their hardworking weathered boats and hardworking weathered fishermen, and piles of nets and lobster pots. The sea here, and everywhere else we went was absolutely crystal clear.

Raven flying into the round tower at the Rock of Cashiel, Co Tipperary - this tower was pure Rapunzel material! Cashiel was a delightful village with some gorgeous shops and The Bake House cafe where we had a superb lunch before climbing up to the rock.

Cahir Castle - next stop after the Rock of Cashiel and quite possibly the very best castle we've ever visited. Like many historic attractions it is owned and run by the Office of Public Works, cost less than £8 for us all to visit and delighted us all as so much of it was open to explore, from down in the dungeon right up to the tops of the towers.

Week 2 - Gleesk, near Sneem, Co Kerry and the view, in the evening light, from our 'cottage' (twice the size of our own home!).

...and the view to the right from the Gleesk house. This is what we woke to every day for a week and it was a huge wrench to leave it.

7.30am Easter Sunday hunting for eggs left by the Easter Hare - we saw no rabbits but plenty of hares and decided Ireland must have an Easter Hare - this is two and a half hours after the children burst into our bedroom shouting 'HAPPY EASTER' - yup 5am....on a Sunday....on holiday!

A rainbow (one of dozens we saw while in Co Kerry) over 'our' island just opposite the house.

The light in the wake of a heavy rainstorm turned the sea an incredible deep blue.

Another rainbow - this time the crock of gold is in our nearest neighbour's garden.

The beautiful gardens at Muckross House, in the breathtakingly beautiful Killarney National Park.

Minx's 11th birthday brunch at Strawberry Field Pancake Cottage, just off the Ring of Kerry. Should be compulsory for anyone visiting Kerry to visit this fantastic little pancake house. Minx chose banana, chocolate chips and cream, Mr Moog had smoked salmon and sour cream with leeks, Monster opted for chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and ice cream, while I enjoyed goats cheese, thyme and honey. Yum!

Strawberries on the gateposts, in the statue's baskets, strawberry red windows and even red strawberry shaped patios in the garden. We loved it so much we visited twice and wished we were staying longer as we'd have liked to have worked our way through the whole, extensive menu!

Derrynane - fabulous beach, glorious rock pools, gannets and one time home of Daniel O'Connell. We found this gorgeous place towards the end of our holiday and really need to go back and spend more time there. Monster loved it and indulged his new found love of 'rock climbing'.

And finally, one more rainbow - a double one! This time in Sneem, our nearest village and home to the superb O'Shea's pub where we had one of the best meals of our entire holiday and a rather lovely pint or two of the black stuff.

I hope you enjoyed that 'small' selection of our many many holiday photos. Ireland totally captured our hearts and we will be back for more :o)

Those of you who haven't been able to leave comments because Blogger is being stoopid, I do apologise and have been onto the Blogger forum to see if I can find out what's wrong. I've tried changing a couple of settings but have no idea if it's worked. Please email me if it's still playing up.

Be back soon with a little bit of spinning xxx

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May? 2012?

I blame Lucy Locket to be honest. Actually, that's not entirely true - I blame Trashy.

I was happily plodding along, doing all the usual stuff, kidding myself it really wasn't that long since I'd blogged and that actually it was only January....or at least it wasn't that long since Christmas and then WHAM! this morning Trashy sent me a text asking me if I'd read Locket's blog.

I hadn't but of course I had to go and look and all of a sudden felt a rush of longing for my blog and more particularly for everyone else's blogs. Locket's been keeping me up to date with her doings via text and Ravelry but I'm sorry to say I haven't read anyone's blog for months and months - apart from Yarn Harlot's and I've decided that doesn't count as she's not one of my blogging friends, although if she invited me round for coffee and knitting I wouldn't say no.

Life here has been going on as normal. We've dealt with the selling of my Dad's house. It's just over a year since he died and seems like a few weeks and forever, all at the same time. I'm not going to analyse why I haven't blogged because after all, blogging isn't compulsory but I've been feeling the urge to get back out there for a while.

I've done stacks and stacks of knitting since November, when I last posted here, including ten pairs of socks, some mittens, two cardigans for Minx and all sorts of other bits and pieces.

I've spent more time than is healthy on Ravelry and have just found myself sucked back into Facebook, thanks to Slimming World - trying to keep myself motivated by going on my group's Facebook page as I've decided spending ten months losing the same 5lbs is nothing short of ridiculous!

Merlin Moog is a big big boy now. Very cuddly, loads of fun and more than a bit naughty! He's terrified of cars and nothing we do seems to help. He goes bonkers if you say 'Cats!' 'Squirrels!' or 'Carol!' (thanks to the lovely Carol Kirkwood on BBC Breakfast). He adores Match of the Day, and Born Free and when he stayed with the in-laws at Easter he developed a love of Cash In The Attic!! His latest habit is to stand in front of the TV asking someone to switch it on for him.
I'm currently in danger of developing another new crafty obsession, thanks to going to an Introduction to Handspinning workshop last week. I'd already been trying to teach myself to use a drop spindle at home, with varying degrees of success but at the workshop I used a spinning wheel and fell totally in love!!! It was all I could do to stop myself rushing home and ordering one!

I've since joined the UKSpinners group on Ravelry, where I've done loads of reading and lurking as I get to know this new craft. I've also 'met' a lovely spinner in the group who just happens to live about a mile away from me! We've agreed to meet up soon and in June I'm going along to my local group of the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers - which will no doubt result in me needing a loom and a dyeing studio too :o)

For now, I'll leave you with a photo of Mr Moog and the beasties at the Rock of Cashiel, in Co Tipperary on our recent holiday in Ireland - our first time there but definitely not our last. More Ireland photos and possibly even some spinning next time!

Happy spinning :o)