Sunday, 18 December 2011

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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Learning how to hook

When I picked up knitting I honestly thought that picking up crochet was going to be a walk in the park. I was so wrong!

Firstly I made a rookie mistake. I'm cringing as I write this :/

I ordered a crochet kit of eBay *ducks to avoid rotten tomatoes*. It included 2x100g crappy dk yarn (mostly acrylic I'm guessing, it had no label) in boring colours - a pukey green and a dull blue. It also came with a size 4 hook and a cd with some "how to" videos. It was £15!!!! How dull am I! Well, Christmas evening came and we all had full tummies and sat down in front of the tv watching old films - perfect crochet times! It was horrendous!! It really didn't help that we were at my in laws and so my mam was 100miles away for troubleshooting issues.

Firstly, I tried a chain. I couldn't get to grips with how to hold the hook or the yarn, had no clue which side was the working side and the tension was just horrible. I gave up after about 10mins

My mam told me to persevere and my ravelry browsing encouraged me lots. I was going to try again!! One evening a quick pop into hobbycraft led me to the yarn section where I found a gorgeous turquoise (totally "me") and I dug out my size 4 hook. I sat in front of my laptop and watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to hold the work and hook, how tension works and lots of different videos showing how the chain is built and how it becomes the foundation of any piece of crochet.

With my mam supervising (I'm 26 in a few weeks, not 13!!) I managed a good chain and then I moved on to basic stitches

- slip stitches
- double crochet
- treble crochet

I wanted to learn the treble crochet because I've been drooling over the attic 24 neat ripple for some time and wanted to try!

Wanting to try and actually doing something are two very different things. I followed the pattern exactly and ended up with:

Now, I was encouraged by those who said that you needed to do a few rows to get the ripple going but this looked more like a dead snake to be honest.

Change of plan, I practises my chain and treble stitches and decided to try a chevron which is rippley but the "mountains" and "valleys" (increases and decreases!) were a lot easier to understand. The mothership told me that after a few rows of the chevron I'd gain confidence and should try the ripple again.

Hmmm, wasn't convinced! Anyway, I tried and ended up with:

It sort of worked!! Looking back now I see the mistakes, but it was working!!!

Will update this when I've done a little more, and *gulp* attempted the ripple!

As a side note, one lunch time I googled the instructions for granny squares. I got the centre sorted :)

Monday, 29 August 2011

An old lens and a lot of fun

I have a confession to make.

I'm click happy on ebay.




I may or may not have found some amazing photos on Talk Photography forum and then accidentally searched it on ebay and then bought it.....oopsy! It came with the camera:

It's a 50mm f1.8 pentacon lens. I love it! It has a ring adaptor which means I can attach it to my canon DSLR:

And here's a photo I took with it (on the DSLR). I love the bokeh!!!


In a weird little twist though, my mam brought me over my sisters old camera. A praktica with a 50mm 1.8 pentacon lens and then in a box of photography bits I found another canon adaptor. This means if you know of anyone who wants the above camera, lens and an adaptor ring for £30 (what I paid) lemme know :)

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A kitty update

The babies have been with us about a month now and they are slowly improving with time. They were practically feral when we got them and would go absolutely mental if we went near them/for a cuddle. My poor hands were in ribbons and I got some serious bruises from an attack by Vince on my hand where he repeatedly punctured my skin with his teeth hugely viciously. It was scary tbh and at that moment I seriously regretted getting them. All I was doing was helping him down from a windowsill he'd got stuck on! Regardless, we've let them get used to us in their own time, intentionally slowing our pace and not looking at them when we go near them. They began letting us approach them slowly for a stroke and we'd take advantage of meal times to get some cuddles in. They LOVE to eat.

Meal times are hilarious, we call them and shake the "crunchy" pot (cat biscuits in a plastic container so that they associate a noise with food) and we make sure to make cat calling noises and call out their names as we put food down so that they know the noises they hear are positive. Eric purrs incredibly loudly when he's fed and Vince gets so excited he can barely contain himself! He paces and flicks his tail, aaaw it's so cute.

Thankfully we've had no more mental attacking moments (my skin is so happy) and they don't get so scared that they bite and scratch anymore. They're turning into nice little boys but the "kitten" in them keeps them hyperactive and quite mad :) They "kill" many strange object such as toilet rolls, garden pegs, cuddly toys, anything they can get their little paws onto. I'll look forward to the time where they start calming down a little more.

As I say, I have had huge moments of regret about these two, they are so hard work, but it's extremely pleasing to see them come around. I think any normal people would have given up on them a long time ago but the change in them in only a month is huge. They are going to be lovely and loyal, I know it, they definitely know when they are doing wrong (they get that "sh*t, sorry mama" look in their eye) and that they are safe with us which I guess is the most important thing.

Here's a recent Vince pic (love how pink his nose is)

And Eric "killing" a toy

Here's my oldest boy, Rufus, doing his usual "sleeping on the cat stand holding the nets". Mad cat.

To be honest, most of the regret of having the kittens is that Rufus doesn't like them at all. I followed all the guidelines of introducing them and did a lot of research but the problem isn't that he's threatened by them but because he's terrified of them :(. He gets sweaty paws (sure sign of stress) and although he hisses and growls at them he doesn't approach them at all. He's hissing and things a lot less and we're treating him like our main boy (see pic below). We often spend a lot of time cuddling him, wrapping him in a blanket making sure to rub his scent points so that he feels like it's a safe environment and we've invested in some (EXPENSIVE) feliway which is an odouriser which releases a pheramone which is supposedly meant to make the cat feel at ease. We'll see how it works.

Below is a photo of my main men, Husband and furrboy. Rufus was awake here, every time husband dropped off Rufus would lick him and husband would tickle the cat until he dropped off again...this continued for about 15 mins until Rufus fell asleep too.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Cat watch!

On Facebook over the last few days I have been posting a series of "catwatch" updates. I'm going to post them here to remember them:

big thanks to my mam for collecting my new babies. Vince and Eric are the most petrified, shy cats I've ever met. They're currently getting used to their new home and snuggled up with lots of toys, food and comfy beds in our little bedroom. This is going to be a big project, gunna need a lot of love xxx
Wednesday at 17:08

Cat watch: Just been in to spend some time with the babies. First of all they weren't too happy, but with some persuasion they did have a cwtch. Vince "killed" a feather on a string and Eric seems to be a fan of bells in wire balls. Rufus, shockingly, hasn't moved since the last update
Wednesday at 20:47

Cat watch: Rufus woke us up at 6am by jumping through the window for cuddles. Went in to feed and water the kittens, the lamp was off the side, some books off the bookshelves, both cwtching in their bed. Wee in the litter tray - success!!
Came home form work, there's a poo in the litter tray! Good boys :D What a life eh? Getting excited over kitten poo. Stench did nothing for my headache :O
Thursday at 11:29

Cat watch: Dinner time at Chez robs. Vince very eager and eating it faster than oli can get it in the bowl. Eric, little shocker, purred SO loudly for the first time he had wet food, growled at his brother so much we had to give them a bowl each! Little legend, made us both laugh a lot. Both still nervous, Vince will approach us now if we're sat still xx
Thursday at 21:41

Cat watch: Kittens met their big brother through the bedroom window last night, none of them seemed bothered. Eric REALLY likes his food (takes after his dad) cant't quite believe how loudly he purrs, Vince is an explorer in the making. GIve them a few more days and maybe let them scope out the lounge x
Friday at 11:23

Cat watch: happy boys this evening. Rufus been doing some sitting, some purring, some cwtching with his dad. Babies been doing some purring and eating! Gave them one of Rufus' old cat beds to get used to his scent and they both been asleep in it! Brilliant!
Saturday at 00.00

Cat watch: Rufus was sat one side of the door, kittens on the other. I picked Rufus up and opened the door, he had a look then I put him out. Opened the lounge door and ERIC came out to investigate first which shocked us. They are both having a little explore :)
Saturday at 10.20

Leah Roberts ‎= wife, catmother, photographer, scientist, bird catcher extraordinaire! Rufus brought Oli a nice live gift to show that he's worth more than the kittens. Thanks Rufus, thankfully it was uninjured and after I caught it he happily flew away x
Saturday at 18.27

Big news for the Roberts household!

We got two new additions to our family on Wednesday - 19 week old kitties. Rufus, our 3.5yr old boycat is lonely since we lost our Alfie a few months back (they were brothers) and these two little kitties were advertised on the cats protection facebook site because they kept getting overlooked for a few reasons

* They are very very very shy, not "friendly" kittens as you'd expect. To me this means they just need lots of love and time to adjust.

* They are black/white/slight tabby which is not what the general population look o for in a cat apparently. The white/tortoiseshell/tabbies are the popular colours so the "boring" ones get left

* They are the "ugly" type of cat: huge ears (disproportional), really long and lean, freakishly long tails. My Alfie and Rufus were exactly the same and I LOVE this type of cat! They both grew into their ears and them being long and lean makes them look athletic :) When I see other cats now I can't get over how stubby their tails are :)

I personally think they are adorable!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Haven't posted for ages :( I will tomorrow! I must...