Showing posts from April, 2012

Retail therapy

Had another strange day today, went to see Django at the vets to give cuddles, moral support and take in some of his fave Applaws Ocean Fish, but it was completely locked up and no way could we get in. We'd been told we could visit anytime, but I suspect the hospital is somewhere else and I've been so distracted I haven't taken this info in. So I'm assuming no news is good news for the moment and waiting for the nurse's bulletin in the morning, when I'll make an appointment this time and hopefully we'll be able to see him tomorrow.

All your lovely comments certainly help lift my spirits. I love the customized poem posted by Jen of Yarnings1:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely
in an attractive and well preserved body.
But rather to skid in sideways
mouse under one paw
catnip under the other,
body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and meowing
"WOO HOO what a chase!"

and also the parallels she makes about Django…


It's been a strange day today. This morning Fedex delivered one fabulous box of Classsic Elite yarn for a new design I'm doing for the autumn - can't say what the project is at this stage other than that it's an important one. A frisson of excitement was rising as I opened the box to reveal this gorgeous green yarn.
But suddenly P was calling me urgently, I wasn't really listening as I was more imterested in the yarn and mulling over my new design.  Eventually though I had to listen when I heard the words Django is badly hurt, you must come quick! I still didn't really believe there could be anything seriously wrong with Django as I'd seen him only a few moments ago, walking through the garden on his way home, seemingly as right as rain.  It was only when I went to investigate further that I realised we had an emergency on our hands.

Django was in the house, but had had some awful accident outside and the skin on one of his back paws was completely missing …

Pie and printers!

A couple of days ago I was making spanakopita, opened the freezer to get some filo pastry and to my horror... there was none! The only thing I could find was puff pastry so, ever the pragmatist, I thought I'd give it a go.
What ensued was an enlightening lesson in making do. I discovered an even easier dish that P said he preferred. Win/win!!! All I did was defrost the pastry and line a pyrex dish with half of it. I cooked and drained about three quarters of a packet of frozen spinach, grated one packet of feta cheese et voilà... time to construct the pie.
Half the cheese went on the bottom, then all the spinach seasoned with salt, pepper and a liberal sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg, then the rest of the cheese on top. I then rolled out the pie lid, placed it on top and pricked around the outside with a fork. After I'd cut around the edges, I  couldn't bear to throw away the leftover pastry so I brushed a splash of milk over the top, cut out some litttle hearts and pl…

Japanese short rows

First of all I want to share with you a couple of lovely moments. Isabella and Ava were here on Friday and one of the places they love most is my office. Izzi loves to be the designer, sitting at the table doing her work - she already makes her own fabulous style books and her drawings show amazing perceptiveness with their well observed colour and pattern (don't mind me, I am Gigi after all - granny to the uninitiated - and so proud of them).

Ava always tries hard to do the same as her sister but, being two years younger,her attention span is much shorter so we have to find other things to interest her. As a very large box of yarn had appeared since her last visit, she was interested to know what it was for. I told her it's for my next book and that the first thing I have to do is wind some wool to knit swatches, so of course she immediately wanted to help with this. P also loves winding wool - its a man thing, don't ask - so the two of them set about the job. 
Also a lovel…

Pop Art

I wanted everyone to retain the grace of a child and not to have to become stilted, confined, ugly beings.  So I created clothes which worked and moved and allowed people to run, to jump, to leap, to retain this precious freedom.Mary Quant  1966
Yesterday friend and colleague, Sue Bradley contacted me about her current exhibition in the window of 28 Milsom Street Bath - the old Culpepers shop. Sue was one of our designers on our Devon & Bath knitters' tour in 2010, inspiring everyone with her unique take on fashion, textiles and knitting. Her work is on display until after the Jubilee so if you're in Bath anytime before then check it out.

I've always been a fan of Sue's work and it got me thinking about how over the years I've been influenced by both Pop and OpArt.
Pop Artis the visual arts movement of the 1950s and '60s, which aimed to close the gap between real life and art. Its images were taken from mass culture, artists duplicating beer bottles, soup cans…

Live Music Act - Yaaaaay!!!

Over the moon that it's been confirmed that come October 1st the Live Music Act will be law. This means that live amplified music can be performed between 8pm and 11pm in venues under a 200-person capacity without the permission of the local authority. What a fantastic boost for keeping music live in England and Wales.

The music industry is hosting a big party at the House of Commons to celebrate and Show of Hands have been chosen to represent the folk/roots genre. One of my fave bands, they're a fabulous combination of musicianship, charisma and ethics. Although Steve Knightley, Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes have their own bands and always make amazing sounds, there's something much greater than the sum of the three individuals when they play together as Show of Hands. 

Here they're spreading the word about corrupt bankers in Arrogance, Ignorance & Greed on the Andrew Marr Show with William Hague and Trevor Phillips looking on.

Read more here:
Show of Hands at House…

My father

Usually I'm not one for dwelling on things, preferring to get on and live in the moment. But this isn't always possible. A couple of days ago I learnt that my stepmother had died two years ago and my stepbrother, her only son, had also died some time before that. No-one told me as the rest of my father's family were not in contact and so presumably didn't know.

My father died eleven years ago, whilst we were hosting our first knitters' tour in Wales. I got a call from my stepbrother to say I had better come quick if I wanted to see my father alive again. I immediately got in the car and drove the two hundred miles, but sadly he was gone by the time I arrived at the hospital. I had seen him at home shortly before the tour started, in bed and very poorly with emphysema. I didn't realise that it was as serious as it was as he'd been battling with this horrible disease for twenty years and often had bouts of breathlessness. On this occasion my stepmother dogged…


There were a lot of jobs on the list yesterday. P had expected the super-duper ladder that would allow him to tackle the three metre high hedge running up a steep slope to have arrived, but as ever the best laid plans... So after establishing there was some technical glitch with the ladder's delivery, we decided on a complete impulse to take ourselves off to Portmeirion. We'd read the weather forecast, it was rain, rain and more rain, but we thought sod it, we'll take the kagools and wellies and have a great time anyway.
So we headed off, aiming for coffee in the plush comfort and warmth of Castell Deudreath, which looks out onto a beautiful formal garden. We thought that would set us up well for a cold wet walk, but as we drove north, the weather got better and better until on our arrival we had blue skies and glorious sunshine.

Portmeirion isn't everyone's cup of tea, although I've never understood why. People often stare at me in disbelief when I say it'…