The Knitting Sailor

With ice and a slice
September 26, 2012, 9:04 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

I haven’t posted for a while because its coming up to end of quarter.  Those in sales will now nod understandingly and offer me a gin.

For those not in sales what this essentially means is that my time is currently spent peering at reports and hitting buttons on my calculator while scratching my head and wondering how on earth I am going to make 2 plus 2 equal 5.  Maths was never my strong point – strangely not many children have ambitions to be a sales manager – most want to be an astronaught, train driver or doctor.  In my case I wanted to be Indiana Jones – somehow I never saw being chased by nazis and wearing a hat as being dependent on my maths skills.  So I wasted my youth digging holes in the ground in the rain with people with suspect dress sense and a penchant for facial jewellery.  To be fair – it was probably more fun than maths would have been.

So I am posting today to tell you all about how I am going to chase my end of quarter stress away…. By doing some spinning and then some knitting of the stuff I have done the spinning of!

What could be more fun???

So I am starting with this –

Doesn’t it look pretty?  I got it at woolfest and have been sitting looking at it ever since.  It’s merino and from a purple stripy sheep and I am going to use my drop spindle on it.   This is a drop spindle.

The idea is you hook the woolly stuff on and then spin it and it twists the woolly stuff to start to make it into a strand of twisty wool stuff.  Once you have this you the twist two bits if the woolly strands together and then get it wet and dry and and -ta-dah- designer wool!!!

Bearing in mind the ‘finished’ roundabout yarn (some of which you can still see on the spindle!) I last spun was an unmitigated disaster and is sitting in a sad little heap all on its own I think this is a bit of a challenge.

And then I am going to knit it to make this –

Apparently it doesn’t matter if your wool is lumpy, you can make it all lovely by knitting it into this.

I am doing this so that I can then wear it every day and say ‘This? I spun and knit it myself thank you …. Yes you’re right…. I am hugely talented … What’s that? You happen to need a talented knitter and spinner to come with you on your next search-for-something-hidden-in-a-jungle to document your search via the medium of wool and you would like me to come?  I’ll just get my hat.’


Well, it works in MY head….



Still not bored of it…
September 21, 2012, 10:22 am
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I’ve had cars that wouldn’t get that far…
September 17, 2012, 9:55 pm
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I did it!  13.1 miles / 2 hours 29.

What was the worst bit?  I think from miles 2 to 13 ish!  It was really strange being part of such a big event and I have to admit to being really scared about it – I wasn’t the only one – all of the others I knew who were running were in differing levels of panic – by the morning I was really thinking that I should have maybe done any sort of organised run at all before doing this one.

So what was it like?  Well there were good bits and bad bits…..



Laura and I – I’m in the bin bag chic, Laura is looking a little more glam!

There were a few other people there….

Follow us!

Really??? I’ve ran 13 miles and THIS is the queue for the toilets???

We all love a good medal

Our chariot awaits

And one day on?

Well I hurt all over and have spent the day walking around (on heels – that’s dedication for you!) looking like a bit of an idiot and using the lift allot.  I know I’m a woos.

I also signed up for the reminder service to let me know when registration for next year opens…. turns out that I might hate running, but I love a challenge!


If you would like to make a tiny contribution to the RNLI out of sheer amazement that I’m not dead then you can – here – but no pressure!


I’m not doing it for fun
September 15, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Tomorrow is the big day.  55,000 of us will be running the 13 miles of the Great North Run.  I have to admit that I am not feeling great about this at the moment.

I got my pack through about a month ago and having opened it and seen what it was my immediate reaction was to go ‘I’ll just look at that later…’ and then put it in a pending pile.  I don’t actually have a pending pile.  It’s just a pile where I put things that I just hope will go away.

Turns out it didn’t go away.  I was finally forced to read it last night.  Turns out it includes things that you should do from a month prior in the run up to the event.  None of these were to drink wine or eat cake otherwise I would have been onto a winner.

To be fair, I have actually been training – I’ve got up to about 11.5 miles, so I may actually manage to finish, but it has become incredibly obvious that this is a serious race for serious runners – the pack had a number in it and everything.  It also had an invitation to a Pasta Party taking place today.  My initial thoughts were that this was an opportunity to go to a party dressed as spaghetti, but actually its about eating pasta and ‘carb loading’ whatever that means.  Like I said – it’s all a bit serious.  You need to put medical info on the back of your number.  There is a sweeper bus and if you fall behind it you are out of the race.  Drop out points are from 8.5 miles onwards for those who can’t continue.  You have to put a microchip on your shoes.  I’m not starting from the back of the pack, but in the middle-ish – how the heck did that happen?

Among others I know who are doing it there is much talk of motivational playlists.  I’m a bit worried about this one as well as I had anticipated getting through on the podcasts I’m currently listening too – The Knitmore Girls, The H2O Show and The Knit Wits.  There’s nothing like hearing about how someone’s jumpers going to cheer you up.  But now I’m thinking I should be lining up something more motivational as everyone has told me this won’t be enough – maybe I should see if I can find a really hardcore podcast – one where they bring up the sheep, spin its wool, knit a jumper and then wear it in a really reckless way.  Like near a fire or something.  Or maybe wash it with no reference to the washing instructions.

When it comes to what to wear, we are of course at the mercy of the flighty North East weather – but at least I have some proper kit now – who knew trainers wore out?  And the RNLI have helpfully provided a ‘subtle’ bright yellow top.

I can’t lie – I am terrified and feed a bit sick every time I think about it.

And I still hate running.

The greatest gift in the world
September 14, 2012, 9:46 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: ,

Missed a trick

I can’t believe someone is making a living out of making up Dinosaur names and selling towels that are magic.
I’ve missed my calling… my CV’s in the post.

September 10, 2012, 5:13 pm
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I have realised that many good blogs have book reviews.  I assume this is because people think the bloggers are great and value their opinion and think a review will drive book sales into the millions.  So as my post on cats was so successful I decided to follow the herd (of cats) and do something similar.

So I have set my standard high, and with no expense spared have secured a book to review to demonstrate my great reviewing skills.


I know this is a high calibre book (despite the fact that I paid a bargain 75p for it from a charity sale) due to the vintage (vintage = old and expensive rather than old and in a skip for free) frontpiece.

I never quite got what a 'Preparatory School' was preparing you for.

So now I just have to read it and decide how many dinosaurs to award it.  I am sure the steady stream of free books to review will follow straight after.


Polar Bears might feel like this
September 6, 2012, 11:12 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin

I am frozen by indecision.
This is the wool I have (ok, ok it’s SOME of the wool I have)

Can you spot the brightly coloured wool against that brightly coloured carpet?

Just a little pile I hide behind the sofa

Am I digging myself a hole here?
and actually it’s not wool – its yarn.  Wool is like yarn only more expensive.

Here are some of the patterns I have.

These are a few of the books.  Thankfully I haven't got a photo of all my photocopies and Ravelry queue
I am having a mind blank on putting two of these things together.  I seem entirely incapable of picking a pattern and them finding some yarn to go with it. Or vice versa.

Must drink wine.


I’m a Dinosaur
September 2, 2012, 8:01 pm
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A Dinosaur is apparently a “terrible lizard”. I feel like a terrible lizard today and have therefore – inspired by my completed Wingspan – spent the day Googling things about Dinosaurs.  So here I proudly present 10 fascinating facts about Dinosaurs to cheer up your day courtesy of the tinterweb.

1. The dinosaur with the longest name was Micropachycephalosaurus meaning “tiny thick-headed lizard” – I think that’s a bit rude, but I guess he’s not around to complain

2. The dinosaurs in the film ‘Jurassic Park’ were not real.

3. Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for over 160 million years. Get that – they didn’t LIVE on the Earth – they RULED it.

4. Scientists believe that birds are descended from dinosaurs.

5. Plateosaurus’s had opposable thumbs, so they may well have been knitters.

6. Dinosaurs lived on every continent.

7. Dinosaurs weren’t all green, they were brightly coloured like snakes and birds – I am assuming this means the non brown or green birds. Maybe brightly coloured like parrots. Or maybe they weren’t but just wore a lot of hand knitted Christmas jumpers which made them look bright and cheerful.

8. The American Opossums lived at the same time as the Dinosaurs and are still around today

9. The imaginatively named Giganotosaurus is the largest carnivorous dinosaur discovered.

10. Dinosaurs could swim and climb trees, but probably couldn’t sail.

I feel like a dinosaur in my new shawlette and as such have given myself a new name


You too can make your very own Dinosaur name by adding ‘saurous’, ‘-dactdal’, ‘-ceratops’ to the end of it.  It is the most fun you can have (there are lots of other names too – have a look here.  And if you want to join my Dino-gang add it to the comments.  I will be unsurprised by the resounding silence).

I’m having my business cards reprinted as we speak.



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