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February 2007
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Sugar, Oh Bunny, Bunny. You are my Candy Girl, and I Can't Stop Lovin' You.....

5b_big_bad_baby_blanket_blocking It's the 5B now: The Big Bad Baby Blanket Blocking!! I had been putting off sewing in the ends, and then today I remembered that there were only 3 ends. So I sewed them in, washed the 4B and now it is 5B. I am pretty much hoping it will be dry over the next few days and then I can parcel it up and post it away. I am, despite the excellent blanket, glad to be finished and too many more rows with a 5mm needle would have worn out the blanket's welcome. You can see the recipient of the 5B here, whereupon MrsDrWho is an Uncle!!!!Hopping_into_bunny_craft

Sitting atop The 5B areEaster presents for some children. I was inspired by The Bunny Toss, so I went ahead and drew a circle and sketched some ears (there are two kinds of ears: long and then, and shorter and fatter!!!) and I was away. I thought pink and white were not child appropriate colours and so I've gone for colours that might stand up to a bit of dirt. They may need a wash or a sponge every now and then so I'm filling them with plastic pellets and not rice!! I have 4 more colours to finish to the Ear Stage and then it's just a circumferential whip around the edge with the Mason_dixon_eco_friendly_dishcloth sewing machine, a bit of filling and a puffy white pompom tail and they're away!!! I do have to buy a plastic bucket as well, so they can have a place wheretofore in the Bunnies can be tossed!!!

Last Sunday was Neighbours Day, not the show ( all sing along with Barry CrockerA_very_happy_harki_2 now), but your next door neighbours. I knitted a Mason-Dixon Ballband Call-It-What-You-Will dishcloth, though I use my dishcloths for face flannels, for The Nice Lady Next Door: she who cut down the rampant blackberries!!! I used the lovely Eco Cotton in Natural and Pale  Green, using 4mm needles.

Harki went to The Vet for her last arthritis injection and she was a bit shaky and nervous, but I think she thought I might be leaving her to donate blood again. A needle and a dog treat from Dr Tim later she was all smiles and happy again!! Not Peri_just_walkin_in_the_rain_2 to be outdone, Peri has a raised kind of lumpy thing under her eye, in her fur. I prodded and poked it a bit and if it doesn't disappear soon, or it changes, she will have her turn to go to The Vet!!! The weather has turned Autumnal and it has been cooler at night and we have had some rain. It rained today when we went for our walk and The Labradors were very happy to run in the slight dampness!!!

I have finished Season 1 of The West Wing and now require the other 6 seasons, stat.!!! There was a cliffhanger ending, and obviously I know the outcome as I have seen other seasons, but I am still anxious!!! I whipped up some scones for MrsDrWho from my new book, bought to cheer me up. They are very nice, I hear. I forgot to take a picture.....any chance of one MrsDrWho??? Yes, there is, she sent me a photo so I have posted it below!! Thanks!!!I didn't buy a pair of mallard coloured boots yesterday. They were a soft teal green and of a medium length. I am now whittling away my indicator goal!!! In my special world I am allowed to buy books, but not wool or unnecessary clothes. Books are never, and could never, be unnecessary!!! I found 4 Tamora Pierce books I had forgotten, still in their nicely wrapped parcel, from the bookshop. I am devouring them: 2 down, 2 to go. Scone recipe for devouring follows.....

Strawberry Snails, more or less, from Mix and Bake    

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 80g butter, cubed
  • 1 tbspn sugarStrawberry_snails
  • pinch of salt if you like
  • 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 50g butter extra
  • 80g strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a tray with baking paper. Cream the extra butter and jam together till smooth and combined and set aside. Sift the flour and add the sugar and salt. Rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. I lift the mixture as I rub it in and let it fall in the hope of extra aeration!! Make a well in the centre and pour in 3/4 cup of milk. Mix with a knife, adding more milk if needed. It should come together and be just a tad sticky. Scatter some flour, and knead 3 or 4 times until smooth. Roll out into a rectangle 30 x 20cm and then spread with the butter and jam mixture. Roll up from the long side and cut into 2 or 3cm pieces. Refrigerate for 30 minutes if you can, glaze with a beaten egg yolk if you like, and then bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly, dust with icing sugar and serve with extra butter, jam and cream. Makes 12-15 snails!!! You can use any jam or sweet filling you like: fresh fruit, tinned or stewed fruit, dried fruit and nuts, as long as it is not too moist.


I,I,I,I,I,I Like You Peri Much!!

Peri_hits_the_bottle_again Clingy. Peri is clingy because yesterday Harki went off bravely to the Hospital and donated a bag of blood. She stayed for 2 hours and they shaved off some of her hair, but it is of little consequence compared to the good she was able to do. Peri sat next to me, touching me for the whole 2 hours Harki was away, apart from the times she went off to look for Harki. She even took to the bottle!!!Despite Harkis_scars_of_bravery_2all my reassurance, in the end I took her with me in the car to fetch Harki and she even went into the Hospital just to check she hadn't missed out on something good!! Harki was ever so well behaved and she is such a good girl!!! Can you tell I am besotted with The Labradors??? Again. Constantly.....

Easter Easter_madness_continuesMadness, as instigated by AmyP , has been progressing, if slowly. I have completed a few little madnesses and bought some supplies for further madness. They are not in particularly Easter colours, nor bunny colours really, but there will be children and playing involved so I wanted them to be a bit more user friendly than white and pink felt would be. I also succumbed to the BSODL's $2 a More_2_material_2metre fabric sale and picked up some striped patterned material for a skirt and some poplin/lycra print to make a top. It cost $9 in all so I was very pleased.

Today was Crazy Day. Why did MrsDrWho and I meet for brunch on Crazy Day? I don't know. Perhaps we are crazy. But I did find a bargain, a Labrador calendar, at the bookshop I frA_calendar_of_lurve_2equent (for frequent, read almost live at!!) It was reduced in price and I decided to buy it but when I went to pay, the owner quietly said that I should just pop it in my bag as a gift. How lovely is that? It made me quite teary. 

The Big Bad Baby Blanket is nearing completion. I have 4 more rows and then the moss stitch border. I am very happy!! The weather has been all 'climate changy' again, it was 31*C at the other end of the island yesterday, and 26*C here. Mind you, we are expecting some snow in the highlands and it was -2*C at Liawenee. Liawenee is notoriously cold, it rates a mention on the radio from the Bureau of Meteorology almost every day. It is an institution!! At least we had some rain last night, I hope we have more. As a consequence of the warm weather the 4B is all I have been knitting. I should mention that I am also up to episode 19 of The West Wing Season 1, as if that would have anything to do with it. Amanda asked if I had been alonging with my Upside down Baudelaire: No. And No. We are indeed the worst alongers around. Once the 4B is finished I must along a lot!!!


Donor Forsake Me Oh My Darlin'

Brave_harki Blood donors are wonderful people: they have saved my life!!!! Now The Labradors are being blood donors for sick dogs at the Animal Hospital. Dr Tim broached the subject yesterday and today when I was out my phone rang with a request for a sample for cross matching. Harki went in and there must have been a surfeit of fuss because when she came back a few minutes later she went right past the room and she was off for an explore out the back of the Hospital!!! She has a little shaved patch and a tiny hole from the needle, but no other side effects. I am glad to do this and Harki is very happy too. I am not so sure Peri will be still and calm, but we will see.Bbbb_almost_finished

I was out today at the Dentist, indeed I almost titled this post: The Girl Who Cried Tooth!! Last night I thought I had broken my tooth. It felt very rough and 'bits' were apparent. The dentist squeezed me in, but to my relief and embarrassment it seems that just a little bit of filling had detached itself. My filling was smoothed out and there was no charge. What a nice dentist!!! I, of course, feel as if I panicked for no reason.

Get_off_the_blanket_harki We have just experienced the Autumnal Equinox here, though Autumn officially starts on March 1st. I wonder what they call this day in the USA: Fallular Equinox??? Daylight Saving ends this weekend too, so we gain an hour's sleep. Hurray!!! I will be able to harness the extra hour to knit 6 more rows of the 4B: Big Bad Baby Blanket. It takes 10 minutes, on average, to knit a row, so with 20 rows to go and the moss section, that's about 400 minutes or 6 hours and 40 minutes. I must knit more quickly. I am surprised that the blanket looks quite good. The squares of purl and plain and the moss edging are perfect together. Of course it will need a good wash, as Harki and Peri can't stop themselves from helping me!!!

They helped themselves when I went out. Helped themselves to their food. I fed them before I went outWho_me_surely_not_says_peri  and in my pre-dental haze I just put the food in a container on the dining table. Bad. Idea. Peri assures me that she had nothing to do with the food eating. Harki certainly didn't. It must have been Mr Nobody. Luckily they only scored one day's food, but there will be more vegetables and less dry food for the next few days. That's what they eat: 2 or 3 cups of mainly green vegetables and one cup of 'diet' dry dog food, as natural and as reputable as I can find!!!

Ms Stash lent me Season 1 of The West Wing and since Tuesday afternoon I have watched 16 episodes. I am addicted. MrsDrWho is looking into the purchasing of seasons 1-5. Meanwhile Season 7 is drawing to a close on the ABC. I am looking forward to the new Robin Hood. It is coming in April, no fooling!!!

Our political strife continues, but it makes me feel safe when the centre is falling apart to see that there are no violent protests, but rather witty ones: a comment on our Mickey Mouse dilemma by singing neI_love_numbersw lyrics to The Mickey Mouse Club song, everyone resplendent with ears!!! Even when Kerr sacked Whitlam, there was not a shot fired, but we had some rousing speeches and Norman Gunston. Who could ask for more???

I like numbers and look at this wonderful paindromic example!!! 107701  I have more news, but it's 26*C and we're all too hot. Did I mention it's Autumn???


Beware the Eye-des of March.....

I woke up this mornng, on the Ides of March and my eye was boogelly. I bought some eye drops, which I love to keep in the fridge and my eye has ceased to be red and itchy. I hate anything to do witThe_stickmeisterh my eyes and putting drops in is such a trauma: I can see the drop coming and I want to blink Now. of course, my eyes feel so nice I want to have drops in them for all of eternity!!! Oh and I bought this with my  Christmas money!!!

On a Shakespearian theme, there is something rotten in the State I live in. We are supposed to be having a Pulp Mill assessed by the RPDC (Resource Planning and Development Commission??) The pulp mill was supposed to be closed loop, chlorine-free and use only plantation wood. Our valley has an inversioIll_have_what_shes_havingn layer which traps any pollution, (we are fined if wood heaters smoke) and the river empties into Bass Strait. The Pulp Mill proponents have withdrawn from the process, had a hissy fit, and the Lennon Government is going to use Parliament to 'approve' the mill. Note I said approve and not assess. I am not in favour of a polluting mill in an inappropriate setting using old growth forest, with approval rubber stamped by a partisan Government.  There was a fight to save The Rivers , a long and bitter battle, and I think the people of the Valley need to be safe and healthy. OK, I have finished now. I know jobs and the economy are very important, but as one who knows, you can't put a price on your health, or your life and I want the Life I have to be in a clean, green place. Who_is_it

Harki had her second Arthritis injection yesterday and she feel much better, I can see a real improvement in her 'getting up' ability!! Harki and Peri are quite obedient. I will have it no other way!! When I want them to, they will sit and wait or stay until I tell them it isHere_we_come_runnin_down_the_street OK to move. They don't always want to, but they do it. There is usually a big cuddle and a treat at the end. Labradors are very amenable, and though as puppies they are hell on wheels, when they are grown up they just want to be with you, and make you happy. I don't want doormat dogs, and they can be naughty and wicked but as with children, as long as they behave when they are out, or they need to be safe, I'm  happy.  We had a lovely walk this morning, half on the leads and the rest running in the bush. Grapes_of_gosh

I am accidentally growing grapes that are edible. There has been a grape vine on the garage for 20 years and I have tasted the grapes in other years and they have been as bitter as all get out, but The GardyGardeners suggested I taste them this year, and lo and behold the grapes and sweet and juicy!!! It must have been the very hot weather. The weather has been hot again today, 27*C, even though it is Autumn. I met MrsDrWho in town after school and we Rosieposie_bag indulged in a little sparkling wine and a snack!!

On the craft front, I have been knitting the Baby Blanket, I have made 'egg' way on the calico eggs, met Katt to find fabric to make her a tote bag and I gave my last Christmas present, which included a tote: RosiePosie!!! We are expecting rain later on tonight so I'm hoping to knit some more of the blanket. I am over the halfway mark so it's all downhill now!!!

PS, I LOVE Rinse The Blood Off My Toga!!!!


Our Home is Skirt by Sea!!

Sparkly_green_skirtWhile I am feeling well I am having a little craft frenzy!! TodNew_patterns_i_couldnt_resist_1ay at The BSODM (tm) Burda patterns were on extreme special and I bought 5. I then came home and made not one, but two skirts this afternoon. Of course, I wildly overestimated my size again and the first skirt is not one, but two sizes too big. I think it will just have to be a 'hipster' skirt!!! Nonetheless I am very pleased. I have been wearing them, hence the tomato stain on the front of the Sparkly Olive skirt!!! The BareNakedLady is modelling for your viewing pleasure. Aqua_and_lime_skirt_1

I also bought some supplies for The March Madness organised by AmyP. I decided that My Special Madness would be Easter. My first task was to find the magazine I needed. I looked for 2 days on and off: through all the many and varied craft magazines, through the 17 bookcases, high and low until I remembered. I made a fatal mistake: last year I put the magazine somewhere safe, somewhere I would remember, yes, that's right, I put it in with the Christmas Craft. I have no idea why I did that, but there it was. So I March_madness_beginsa_bit_latebought some new felt and embroidery cotton to make some calico Easter eggs. I think I will start tomorrow: Pure madness.

Harki and Peri have to spend half their walk on the lead now, so tI_thought_i_heard_a_kangaroocathat Harki doesn't run too far and too fast with her jip hips, so when they go through the gate to the buHarki_at_the_top_of_the_hillsh they are extra, extra happy. On the way up to the top of the hill two wallabies hopped right through the bush at the side of the track. The Labradors hear instantly, at the first hopping sound, but they never race off and give chase, instead they look very, very alert and twist their heads about in a quizzical fashion. When they get to the top I have a little rest while they survey their domain. Harki is feeling very well. We have been on a walk, of sorts, every day now. She has her next appointment with Dr Tim on Wednesday. She is feeling so well, that she 'helped' me with my sewing. I had ironed three lots of material, but decided that was a little too ambitious. Harki and Peri both stayed in the dining room when I was cutting out on the lounge room floor, but when I said it was OK to move, Harki was straight in and onto the extra material!!! Peri has been busy outside Harki_cant_resist_helping_me_sewtoday. She keeps getting very hot, and then has to come inside for a dribbly drink and a cuddle.

I am still plodding along on the second Samuel Clemens sock and I have some other embroidery to finish as well. Tomorrow is The Eight Hour Day holiday, or Labour Day. I expect, unless there is some change soon, this holiday could disappear as the idea of eight hours each of Work, Leisure and Sleep is now being forgotten. I'm planning to watch Miss Marple tonight. Geraldine McEwan is no Joan Hickson, but I think any Miss Marple is better than none at all.


It's Hip to be Arthritic!!!

Harki isHarkis_morning_tea_time going to be 8 this year, that's 55 in Dog Years according to the poster at the Hospital. Harki has jip in her hips, a little bit of arthritis, but it's definitely there. Today she had the first of 4 weekly Cartrophen injections. She is always such a good girl and had her injection and then had a special Liver Treat from Dr Tim. He pulled her legs about a bit, so she came away feeling a bit sore and sorry, but she has excellent knees, so no worries there. Harki is also NOT FAT. This is even better news. Harki is a tall, big Labrador and Dr Tim said she could lose 1 or 2 kilos, but really she is fine. We also have to have a walk every day if I can manage it: just up to the shop on the corner and back is fine on our not- Peris_morning_tea_time_1 going-for-a-walk-at-the-dam days.

We left Peri at home, inside. One minute we were all there and then she was lured inside by a bone ans suddenly we were gone and she was all alone. There is no doubt she howled like a Banshee. Last week Peri had a tick inside the flap of her ear. She was a bit sad the day after her walk. She had been exploring and came back covered in twigs and dirt and a dead spider. I expect this is where she picked up the tick. I am officially allowed to pull it off and check there are no ticky bits left. We don't really have the horrid paralysis tick in the bush just ordinary horrid ticks. I generally run my hands over Peri once a week but I have never found a tick in her ear before. So now they are both asleep after the excitement of a walk today, where we saw the herd of feral goats right in the dam reserve where we walk, then morning tea with The GardyGardeners and then the Injection trip as well. No wonder they need a nap. Today their morning tea treat was ice cream wafers. They have hardly any kilojoules at all.

The Druid socks for my Aunt are finished. I actually finished the second sock last night and I just The_druid_socks had the toe to graft, but I put it aside till today. I always expect the grafting, Kitchener stitch, to be much worse than it actually is. I like the sewing and the chanting:'Knit, Knit, Purl, Purl' It is very satisfying to have them finished.

The Druid Socks for my Aunt's birthday. My usual sock pattern, 72 stitches on 2.25mm, with 8 rows of easy lace just before the toe decreases start. I made them from the rest of the Chocolate Wool from The Knittery. I began knitting on 13th February and finished on 7th March.

The first Samuel Clemens sock is finished. By Jove it is endlessly long. And, as luck would have it, one ball was just enough for one sock, so I had to go back to The Black Spot of Doomlight and buy a Samuel_clemens_1 fourth ball so the third ball wouldn't languish forever waiting to be knitted. I can pretty much say there is no chance two Samuels will be completed by Friday teatime when I see the Madcages. Pretty much. In other sock knitting news, I only have The Second Turing sock toe to do (I have to dye a few metres of wool and so of course this has put the kybosh on the whole project) and Greenery Snicket. That's Farrah_golden_naming_prizeall!! So I feel I should be able to start another sock. I want to use my SeaLife wool. Cookie has Monkey, so I really need 'SeaMonkey'. I am thinking on a pattern, lace maybe, ferny seaweedy perhaps??

Thanks to Tori for the lovely stitch markers she sent to me for helping to name her sewing machine!! I have promised her I will try not to make them knitted in embellishments!! I will try my very best!! They are so Farrah Fawcett gold, don't you think??

The Pyrex bowl has been replaced. I bought it with the change in Vundy_and_toris_roses_bloomingthe bottom of my handbag when they were on sale at the Asphalt-get on Tuesday. I was in town early having my fringe cut as I couldn't bear it in my eyes for one moment longer so it was either that, or cut it myself with  the pinking shears. The hairdresser cut my fringe for free, made me an appointment for next week, and made me a lovely cup if tea. Tuesday was Knitting Coven Day. A good time was had by all, as usual!!

Vundy The German Shepherd and Tori-Too the Golden Labrador's roses are blooming away like all get out at the moment. Vundy's Mr Lincoln is magnificent, and Tori has Peace.

MrsDrWho's father: who is either GreatUncleMrCaptainArcher or FatherMcGyver, commanded me to make two steamed golden syrup puddings in his own inimitable way!! I bought two new lovely pudding bowls and away I went. I had forgotten how easy steamed puddings are. You can add dried fruit, or grated rind, chocolate, fresh fruit etc, and substitute jam or marmalade for the golden syrup. It does take 2 hours to steam, but you can go away and do something else for the half hours in between topping up the water. My best tip is to trim the covering foil and paper after you tie the string (or wool!!) and turn it up toward the top as best you can to stop any water seeping in. I don't have a picture, but here's the easy-peasy recipe!!

Steamed Golden Syrup Pudding.

  • 100ml, more or less, golden syrup
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn bicarb soda
  • 2 or 3 tbspn milk

You will need a 6-8 cup pudding basin, string, baking paper, foil, a saucer or trivet and a large pan with a lid that is deep enough to hold the pudding basin standing on the upturned saucer.

Put the saucer upside down in the base of the pan and half fill the pan with water and bring to the boil as you make the pudding. Put the syrup in the base of the pudding bowl.  Then in another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and extract and then stir in the flour, sods and milk. The mixture should be easy to drop, add a little extra milk if it is stiff. Pour the mixture into the pudding bowl and press a circle of baking paper over the top of the pudding.

Now, take a piece of foil and a piece of baking paper and place them together and fold a 3cm pleat across them both. Then place this carefully over the basin. Lie a double strand of string across the top, this will be tied later to be a lifting handle. Then, using a friend, tie string around the pudding bowl. there is usually a little indentation or lip. When it is tied tightly pick up the 'handle' string any tie them together firmly. Trim the foil and baking paper to about 2cm. Lift carefully into the pan, make sure the water cones 1/2 way up the pudding bowl, put the lid on firmly and bring to the boil, turn down to simmer then. Cook for 2- 2 1/4 hours checking the water level every 30 minutes. I add boiling water from the kettle. It is cooked when a skewer comes out clean. Serve with custard, cream, ice cream or whatever takes your fancy.


Take Me Out to the Bowl Game

Naughty_harkiparkiparkerposey_1Here are two faces: faces that not only a mother could love. Innocent, cute, gorgeously happy Labrador faces...And while I was out, something bad happened. No, I'm not indulging in some experimental art, or sculpture. I'm not branching out and making stained glass windows or any such thing. Again, no, this is not the beginning of an outdoor water feature.This was my favourite Pyrex mixing bowl. It went into the microwave to make fudge and caramel, it was fantastic for making Naughty_peri_naughtycakes and muffins. You could reheat things in it: in fact it was perfect. It WAS perfect. Now it is an ex-bowl. It has ceased to be, pushing up the daisies etc.  I left the bowl on the table when I went out. I know I should have put it away, but I'm hot. It's hot. It's STILL hot.  Someone or other, somehow, someway, somewhere, took the bowl off the dining room table and disassembled it into myriad sharp and dangerous pieces. Who could it be now??? The table is high, how did they get o'er??? How was no-one cut to smithereens???

Well children, which of the Labradors broke the bowl, who do you think it was: Broken_heart_of_glass_1 Harki or Peri? Let's listen to the song and then find out...(Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men song follows)

Was it Harki or Peri Pup
Took the bowl and smashed it up?
Which of those two Labradors there,
Was it Hark or was it Per???

Who do you think broke the bowl??  Ahh, another unsolved mystery.

Thank you for the very kind wishes for my health, or lack of it!!! No-one can really 'do' anything for me, despite such kind offers. I can only encourage people to maybe donate blood if they feel so inclined. Just saying.... So now I'm pretty much in the pink. I had a good night's sleep despite the heat, and without the incessant thudding in my ears that always accompanies unwellness. I walked up the stairs this morning without stopping on every one for a few restorative breaths!!!! Wouldn't you know it, at the mere hint of Samuel_clemens_almost_1some actual medical intervention, my numbers went up all by themselves?? From 65 to 69. I laugh in the face of my old numbers now, I am surely way into the 90s!!!

I did get a whole lot of Samuel Clemens #1* knitted up. Truly, this is more of a sleeve than a sock. How endlessly long can a sock be?? I am racing the wool to the end of the ball. I have 2 or 3 more centimetres to go until I start the toe and the foot has to be 28cm long. I expect I will use just a smidgen of the new ball. The K2 P2 rib is quite soothing and looks very nice indeed. Everyone thought I was ever so clever to be making the stripy pattern, They weren't even sad when I told them I wasn't. They were amazed at my sock knitting ability and surprised when I said socks were becoming a popular item to knit.  * Mr Madcage is Mark and so I immediately thought "Mark Twain' and then, again, Samuel Clemens. I couldn't help myself.Yumgry_yumgry_hippos_1

Have you had a Happy Hippo lately?? These are a new confectionery treat for the chocolately challenged: ie Me!! They are a crispy wafery concoction with meringue and a plain white filling, Yummy_yummy_yummy_love_in_my_tummy rather in the Raffaello style. I bit the head right off mine!!

MrsDrWho has been outdoing herself in the culinary stakes. She cooked me tea the other night: a delicious salmony treat that necessitated a Harry-Met-Sally moan of delight after every single mouthful. I hope I might get to see Nigella soon,MrsDrWho is stealing all my cooking thunder!!!

The new MagKnits is here, though there is still no sign of any Vernal Knitty. MagKnits has some socks that are quite nice.  I have spied some possibly new Opal sock wool too, here!! These are Donna's ZigZag socks, but I was momentarily dazzled by the green wool!!! See how I am saying 'NO!' to this sock wool, though if you fancy some lovely hand dyed wool at the moment I can recommend some Australians:

Katt's Wool, The Knittery, Live2Knit, and Yarnivorous Yarn.

Now I'm planning to have a little nap, and then while away the evening with icy coolness, Dalziel & Pascoe and the West Wing!!!